Southwestern College athletic director Mike McCoy has hired Gerald “Jake” Conrad as the next head coach of the Lady Moundbuilders volleyball program.

Conrad hails from Oak Creek, Wis., and has a strong background in volleyball, as well as psychology. He brings several years of experience coaching at McHenry County College, Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and most recently Wichita State University.

Conrad has achieved exceptional results in the past 12 years, including a top-10 finish in State, an AAU National Championship in 17-Open, and helping to develop collegiate athletes in college and on the AVP Tour. In addition, he played at the highest level alongside current U.S. Olympians on the USA Men’s Junior National team (2005-06).

He will take over the program at Southwestern after Carolina Garbato resigned to accept a position with the U.S. Olympics organization.

The Lady Builders are coming off the program’s first 20-win season in more than 20 years and return all but one senior from last year’s team.

“I cannot wait to work with our team and continue to build upon what Coach Garbato has established,” Conrad said. “This team has huge momentum and I am excited with the level of talent we have, the talent coming in, and the incredible staff I get to work with.”

McCoy is thrilled about the addition of Conrad and looks forward to him continuing the up-and-coming success the program is in for.

“Coach Conrad brings a passion for the game and a great amount of experience,” McCoy said. “We look forward to working with him and watching him grow with the program.”

Conrad thinks every player deserves an opportunity to have a positive playing experience. His philosophy of developing the four pillars of the game — technical, tactical, psychological and physical — while providing a fun, competitive environment will be his primary focus upon his arrival. He hopes to continue the school’s efforts of bringing a new level of excellence.

“My family and I are extremely excited about the opportunity to coach at Southwestern College,” Conrad said. “Southwestern has an incredible volleyball community and I feel fortunate to continue to be involved. We look forward to another record-breaking season for the Moundbuilders.”

Conrad will officially begin his duties at Southwestern on Aug. 1. The Lady Moundbuilders open the 2019 slate on Aug. 20 at home against Bethel in a nonconference match.

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