KU signs volleyball coach Ray Bechard to 3-year contract extension
Kansas volleyball coach Ray Bechard recently signed a contract extension that will keep him in Lawrence through the 2025 season.
KU announced the new contract for its veteran volleyball coach Thursday afternoon via a news release. If he fulfills the contract, which will pay him $230,000 annually, up $30,000 from his previous deal, Bechard will complete his 26th, 27th and 28th seasons in charge of the Jayhawks.
The new contract comes on the heels of back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 run in 2021. During his time with the Jayhawks, Bechard has recorded an overall record of 446-301 with 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. Last season, after a 3-0 sweep of West Virginia, Bechard moved into second all-time in the Big 12 Conference in wins with 209. He also guided the Jayhawks to the NCAA Final Four and a 30-3 season in 2015.
“Coach Bechard has long been a national leader in the sport of volleyball, a key fixture for Kansas Athletics and in our community, and has elevated our entire department on a daily basis,” KU Athletic Director Travis Goff said in the release. “He is an exceptional mentor and embodies what it means to be a Jayhawk. As much success as the program has already experienced over the past 25 years, I am incredibly excited about the future of Kansas Volleyball with Ray remaining at the helm.”
Bechard is a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year and has led the Jayhawks to eight of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments. Last year’s squad went 19-11, beating seventh-seeded Miami (Fla.) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, before a second-round loss to second-seeded Nebraska in four sets.
“I’m extremely grateful for my continued association with an athletic program that is exceptionally supported and creates a first-class experience for its student-athletes,” Bechard said in the release. “I’m thankful for the working relationship I have with the other head coaches and the synergy and support that exists between Chancellor Doug Girod, Athletics Director Travis Goff and our sport administrator, Nicole Corcoran. I am blessed with hard-working and gifted assistant coaches, along with an outstanding support staff. We are very enthusiastic about the current trajectory of the Kansas Volleyball program and what is ahead.”
Under Bechard, the Jayhawks have posted winning seasons in 13 of the last 14 years, reaching at least 18 wins in eight of those seasons. Bechard, who served as the head coach of Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, before his time at KU, has a career record of 1,163-361 in 38 total seasons.
Bechard, who has coached 10 AVCA All-Americans during his time at Kansas, will welcome back several key contributors from last year’s squad, including Ayah Elnady, Camryn Turner, Caroline Bien, Kennedy Farris, London Davis, Molly Schultz and Brynn Kirsch. The Jayhawks also recently announced the addition of two graduate transfers — both from within the Big 12 — for the upcoming season in Reagan Cooper of Texas Tech and Mykayla Myers of TCU.