Architects of Mizzou volleyball success announce retirement

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 22:26:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After 413 wins and 15 NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 seasons, University of Missouri volleyball coaches Wayne and Susan Kreklow announced their retirement Thursday.

Tigers assistant coach Joshua Taylor has been promoted to interim coach for the 2019 season.

Mizzou volleyball had never been to the NCAA Tournament before the Kreklows’ arrival, which came two years after the program bottomed out at 0-28.

Not only did the Tigers become a postseason fixture, but the team enjoyed postseason success as well — reaching the second round 10 times, the Sweet Sixteen four times and making the program’s only Elite Eight appearance in 2005.

“We’re so very grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the University of Missouri for such a very long time,” the Kreklows said in a statement. “It seems like only yesterday that we started our coaching journey at Mizzou. We’ve been incredibly blessed to have worked with so many incredible student-athletes and so many great staff members over the years. They’ve made so many great seasons possible. We’re so excited about what’s next for this group! They’re so talented and so deep, maybe our best group ever. We’ll always bleed black and gold. M-I-Z!”

The Kreklows also coached 22 players, who won AVCA All-America honors, and led Mizzou to SEC championships in 2013 and 2016.

The Tigers went 34-0 during the regular season in 2013, winning MU’s first SEC title in any sport.

“Wayne and Susan have been synonymous with Mizzou Volleyball for nearly two decades, and in that time established a championship culture that helped them build a perennial Top 25 program,” Tigers athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement. “They were deeply committed to academic and on-court excellence for their student-athletes while passionately working to form a special bond with Columbia and Mid-Missouri that helped them enjoy one of the most-successful runs any Mizzou program has ever produced.”

Kreklow-coached teams consistently achieved high marks in the classroom, displayed tremendous character and grit, all while competing for conference titles and NCAA Tournament bids on the court and connecting with fans throughout the Show Me State. In short, it’s what I believe all 20 of our Mizzou teams are capable of achieving with the roadmap Wayne and Susan leave behind.

We are forever grateful for the incredible ride Wayne and Susan took Mizzou Volleyball on over the last 19 seasons, and I believe their legacy of academic and athletic successes will live on with future Tiger Volleyball teams. All Mizzou fans join me in wishing them well as they move on to the next chapter of their lives and we look forward to publicly thanking them for all that they have done for Mizzou Athletics this fall.”

Susan, who led the Tigers to five straight postseason berths as head coach from 2000-04, won Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2000 after overseeing a runner-up conference finish.

Wayne took the reins in 2005 after five straight NCAA berths and maintained the success his wife established. He was the SEC Coach of the Year in 2013.

Before taking over at Mizzou, the Kreklows coached the Columbia College women’s volleyball program to 1998 and 1999 NAIA national titles, going 85-0 during those two seasons.