Jose Lugo joined the volleyball team as head coach in late July. He brings more than a decade of coaching experience to Newman.
His past coaching experience includes high school to club level and Division 1. His collegiate experience started at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. He also coached at Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, Grand Canyon University and California State University, Fresno, before heading to Newman.
Lugo said he has heard good things about Wichita and knew it was a good place to raise a family. He also knew it was a good volleyball town where people understood the game. Newman University provided Lugo with his first opportunity to be an indoor volleyball head coach. At Grand Canyon University, he was head coach of the beach volleyball team.
Every coach is faced with challenges during their first year with a new team, he said.
“Installing systems takes time and normally happens in the spring, but since I started the job in late July, we didn’t have time to do that,” said Lugo. “It also takes time to learn the players, their talents and their motivators.”
Lugo said the amount of growth this season has been fun to see.
Working with a team of three seniors and a majority of underclassmen, Lugo expects the youth to really step up and contribute. “That’s both difficult but also exciting that they get to have those opportunities to learn, get better and compete,” he said.
Lugo has set many goals for himself and the team this season. “We are working on creating the team culture and working hard in the practice gym so our matches feel easier to navigate. We want to compete and put ourselves in a position to make some noise in conference. It’s a tough road but worth it.”
Lugo said he is excited about the opportunity Newman has given him and highly encourages fans to support the team during home games.