Women’s Volleyball Has Unprecedented Success under Ryan DeLong

Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Ryan DeLong

Ryan DeLong says “luck” led him to his current profession of collegiate volleyball coach. Viterbo University and hundreds of past and present student-athletes have been equally fortunate to have him.

Since becoming the V-Hawks head women’s volleyball coach in 2005, DeLong has been named conference coach of the year seven times as he has guided his teams to a 529–181 (.745) record, eight regular-season conference titles, eight conference tournament titles, and nine NAIA National Tournament appearances. The V-Hawks advanced twice to the national tournament final four and have been a fixture in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll during his tenure.

“I love working with the athletes, that’s why as coaches we do what we do,” DeLong said. “Success breeds success, and we have a great culture, family atmosphere, and a natural recruiting pipeline from our camps and club teams. We’ve been able to bring outstanding athletes to our program to compete at the national level.”

The club DeLong referenced is the very successful V-Hawk Xtreme Volleyball Club, which he founded and directs. In five years, it has grown to 16 teams and more than 160 players. He also runs Viterbo’s summer volleyball camps and numerous satellite camps at area high schools that total more than 500 participants.

Leadership, accountability, overcoming adversity, time management, and working with others are some of the life skills DeLong instills in his athletes through volleyball. Off the court, DeLong enjoys spending time and traveling with his family.

While he certainly would have the opportunity to coach at a larger university if he so chose, winning that ever-elusive national championship at Viterbo remains his ultimate coaching goal.

“The Viterbo volleyball program has become part of our family and our way of life,” said DeLong, who lives in Onalaska with his wife and children. “The athletics department is home. With the relationships and culture we’ve built here, it would be tough to ever leave.”