On Jan. 15th, California Lutheran University Athletic Director Dan Kuntz announced the head coach of the new men’s volleyball team would be Cal Lutheran’s own Kevin Judd.
Judd has been an assistant for the women’s team at Cal Lutheran since 2006 and has been coaching the sport long before that. Not only does Judd have many years of coaching experience, he also has experience in starting volleyball programs. In 2002 Judd founded the program at Moorpark College.
“Starting a program and building it from the ground up is an exciting challenge that I have taken on before,” Judd said in an interview with clusports.com. “I am so very excited and grateful for the opportunity that CLU has given me.”
Not only does Judd have experience with founding programs, he has shown the ability to make new teams an instant success. His men’s team at Moorpark was competitive in their first year with Judd at the helm and in his third year he lead them to a state title.
Although starting a program from scratch will be a challenge, Judd will not be taking it on alone. Current women’s head volleyball coach, Kellee Roesel, will be serving as Judd’s assistant for the men’s program.
Although this will be a role reversal for both coaches, former Cal Lutheran volleyball standout Lauren Rohach is confident that Judd and Roesel will work well together coaching the men’s team.
“I think the dynamics will be great. They have been coaching together for years and know each other’s coaching styles,” Rohach said. “So I see no reason why they won’t be successful in men’s volleyball as well.”
Roesel, who has led a successful women’s program in her time at Cal Lutheran, with an overall record of 205-51 according to clusports.com, is ready to take on the challenge of assisting the men’s team and has a plan to start building the team into a successful program.
“Right now we are trying to get guys in [the program], I don’t think we will have a problem with quantity, it will just be a matter of us figuring out the quality,” Roesel said. “Right now our goal is to get as many guys into school and verbally committed as possible.”
Roesel also attributed great assistant coaching, kids and scheduling to the success of the women’s program and said doing the same for the men’s team will be key in becoming a successful team.
Because next year will be the team’s first year of competition, its goals and success are not going to be measured solely by wins and losses.
“Its a very interesting and unique situation. We’ve talked about our goal being to get between 14 to 18 guys here that have obviously played high school or club level,” Roesel said.
She also said they hope to have a mix of both transfers and freshman on the team next year.
Both coaches believe the reputation of the women’s team will help attract recruits and help boost the men’s program.
“The foundation of what Kellee and I have constructed with the women’s program will be a great platform in which to build upon and twist for the creation of a successful men’s program,” Judd told clusports.com. “I believe that the interest is already out there.”
The team will hold an open tryout in the fall and then begin competition in Jan. 2016.
Published February 11, 2015