After putting together one of the most successful careers in Mizzou volleyball history, Mizzou assistant coach Lindsey Hunter will enter her second season patrolling the sidelines as an assistant coach. Hunter serves as the head recruiting coordinator at Mizzou while working with the Tiger setters. Before her career in coaching, Hunter spent three years with the US National Team and was Mizzou's first volleyball player to receive first team AVCA All-America honors in 2005. She is the Mizzou's all-time leader in career assists.
"We're thrilled to have Lindsey back with us at Mizzou," head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "She has all the tools to become a great coach and she is going to have an immediate impact on our program. Not only does Lindsey bring national and international level training and playing experience to our staff, she brings character and a strong, genuine desire to teach and mentor young student-athletes.
"Everything that we do in our program revolves around our department's three core values of academic integrity, social responsibility and athletic excellence. Lindsey personifies these core values and will be a great teacher and mentor for our developing student-athletes," Kreklow added. "As an athlete with goals of playing on the national team or professionally, I would be thrilled with the opportunity to learn from someone who has already trained and played at those levels. As a parent, I would be very happy to know that my daughter would be spending, what could arguably be called the four most important years of her life, with an incredible role model like Lindsey Hunter."
"I am extremely excited to be part of the Mizzou family again," Hunter said. "Having played for such a highly competitive and well-respected program, I am truly honored to have the chance to make an impact as an assistant coach. I can't express enough appreciation to Wayne and Susan Kreklow, along with the Athletic Department and the University of Missouri for this incredible opportunity."
In her first season on the sidelines in 2011, Hunter helped mentor one of the games' top young setters in Molly Kreklow, who enters her junior season this year. Hunter helped Kreklow run one of the nation's top offensive units, despite much of the roster being comprised of freshmen and sophomores. Hunter also played a pivotal role in bringing in this year's freshman class of Lydia Ely and Regan Peltier.
After establishing herself as one of the best athletes in Mizzou history in any sport, Hunter put together an impressive career on the international and professional scene as a member of the US National Team from 2006 through 2008. As a member of Team USA, Hunter helped guide the American team to a Bronze Medal at the 2007 Pan-American Games, becoming the first player in Mizzou volleyball history to win a major international medal. She also competed in the 2006 World Grand Prix, the 2006 World Championships, and the Tour of China on two occasions (2006, 2008). She was also a member of two Pan-American Cup teams as a member of Team USA and played as a member of Team USA at the 2006 TV Azteca Cup in Mexico.
Hunter put together a very impressive collegiate résumé that led to her being named Mizzou Women's Athlete of the Decade along with a spot in the Mizzou Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this year. She was also the first Tiger to be named to the AVCA All-America first team, doing so in 2005. Hunter was also a second-team AVCA All-American in 2004 as well. She is Mizzou's all-time leader in total assists with 6,097 during her four-year career and holds the school's single-season record with 1,690 helpers during the 2002 season. Hunter also holds three of the top four single-season assist marks in program history. In fact, the two-time All-American had 21 matches with 60 or more assists during her career - the next closest Tiger finished her career with nine such matches. Hunter was a three-time All-Big 12 first team honoree and an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2002.
What is even more impressive than her individual accomplishments is what she was able to help the Mizzou volleyball program achieve during her tenure in Black & Gold. She guided the team to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three 20-win seasons, three third-place Big 12 finishes and helped guide the 2005 team within two sets from the program's first-ever Final Four. During her four years at setter, Mizzou compiled a 90-33 overall record. The 90 wins were the second-most in a four-year span at Mizzou, trailing only the 1980-83 program which posted 97 wins. What is impressive about that is that from 1980-83, that team played in 20 more matches than Hunter's squad did from, making her squad's 90-33 clip the best winning percentage over a four-year span in school history.
Hunter led the 2005 Mizzou team to a 25-5 overall record and a 7-4 mark against top-25 teams that season with four of those wins coming against top-10 programs. The 25-5 mark is the best winning percentage in a single season in program history and the team achieved a No. 7 national ranking, the best-ever for the volleyball program. The 16 wins during Big 12 play that season were also a program-best. Upon her graduation, Hunter was one of only 15 players in Division I history to have amassed more than 6,000 career assists.
The former Tiger setter resumed her professional volleyball career this year with Valencianas de Juncos in Puerto Rico where she was named team captain. She has been playing in Puerto Rico since January and will continue to play until April. Prior to her career in Puerto Rico, Hunter had been serving as a graduate assistant in the Mizzou Total Person Program and served as the color analyst for Mizzou volleyball matches on Mizzou All-Access. She served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Tigers back in the fall of 2006 as well.