🏐 Bechard Signs 3-Year Contract Extension with Jayhawks

LAWRENCE, KAN. – Following back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 run in 2021, Kansas Volleyball Coach Ray Bechard has signed a three-year contract extension through the 2025 season, Director of Athletics Travis Goff announced Thursday.

Bechard just concluded his 25th season as head coach of Kansas and has amassed a record of 446-301 with 11 NCAA Tournament appearances leading the Jayhawks. Last season, after a 3-0 sweep of West Virginia, Bechard moved into second all-time in the Big 12 Conference in league wins, and currently has 209. He also guided the Jayhawks to the NCAA Final Four and a 30-3 season in 2015.

β€œCoach 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,” Goff said. β€œHe 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 Lincoln in four sets. Kansas had four players – redshirt freshman Ayah Elnady, sophomore Camryn Turner, super-senior Anezka Szabo and graduate transfer Lauren Dooley – named All-Big 12 following the season.

β€œI’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. β€œI’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.

β€œI 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.”

Bechard, who has coached 10 AVCA All-Americans during his tenure at Kansas, will welcome back key contributors from last year’s squad, including Elnady, 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 – to the roster for the upcoming season; Reagan Cooper (Texas Tech) and Mykayla Myers (TCU), along with three high school signees set to join KU this summer.

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.