CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago has appointed Chris Muscat as the ninth head women's volleyball coach in program history, Director of Athletics Dr. John Planek announced today. A graduate of UCLA, Muscat comes to Loyola following a successful two-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Missouri, capped by a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament this season.
"I am very happy to present Chris Muscat as the head women's volleyball coach at Loyola," said Planek. "I believe that he is one of the top young coaches in the country and am confident that he will get our volleyball program back to the top of the Horizon League and make us competitive on a national level."
Muscat's time at Missouri was filled with success, as the Tigers rattled off 40 wins during his two-year stint, culminating in the program's second Sweet 16 appearance.
While on staff with the Tigers, Muscat was responsible for training their outside hitters and implementing the team's defensive and blocking schemes. Under Muscat's mentoring, Mizzou boasted one of the Big 12 Conference's toughest defenses, anchored by a front row that showed vast improvements in its blocking numbers during his two seasons and helping the team average a sterling 16.7 digs per set last season. Middle blocker Brittany Brimmage had a breakout season in 2010, ranking in the top 10 in the Big 12 with 1.09 blocks per set in conference matches, while serving as a perfect complement to outside hitter Paola Ampudia, who was honored by the coaches as a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team pick and AVCA All American. Ampudia averaged 4.14 kills per set and established herself as a dominant force blocking on the left side while freshman outside hitter Lisa Henning rounded out the potent left side attacking duo, earning Big 12 All-Freshman Team accolades after a terrific rookie season.
In addition to his on-court coaching, Muscat also served as the Tigers' recruiting coordinator, where he established himself with three nationally recognized classes. Missouri's class in 2009 was ranked 27th in the country by Prep Volleyball, while its 2010 class came in at No. 14 in the rankings and the 2011 group was also projected to be a top-15 class.
Muscat began his collegiate coaching career in 2007 at Stanford, where he spent two seasons on the bench with legendary coach John Dunning. While with the Cardinal, Muscat aided with practice planning, skill development and scouting. Those Stanford teams posted a record of 64-7 during his tenure, securing two Pac 10 Conference titles en route to advancing to the National Championship match both years.
He got into coaching after a successful playing career at UCLA, where he was a member of two national championship teams (1998, 2000) despite sitting out his final season due to injury.
Upon graduation, Muscat remained active in the volleyball community, starting with a top position with the Bay to Bay Volleyball Club based in San Jose, Calif. During his five years with the club, Muscat coached eight players that went on to play Division I men's volleyball, three that continued their playing careers at the Division III level, and another that played for the USA Junior National team.
He transitioned to the women's game in 2005, procuring the head coaching job for Main Beach Volleyball Club out of Santa Cruz, Calif., and he helped the club to three top-five finishes in major tournaments while producing eight more Division I student-athletes.
Muscat graduated from UCLA in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and earned a Masters of Education/Preliminary Administrative Credential from San Jose State in 2006.
Courtesy of Loyola Sports Information