Evelyn Carus, who served as the interim women’s volleyball coach at Wittenberg University this season, has officially been named the program’s next head coach, as announced by Director of Athletics & Recreation, Dr. Gary Williams, on Wednesday, November 21st.
Carus joined the coaching staff at Wittenberg in March of 2016 as an assistant coach before moving into the interim head coaching position for the 2018 season. She helped guide the third-ranked Tigers to an overall record of 25-3 this season, which included winning their 13th-straight and league-leading 24th North Coast Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championship with a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play.
After winning the NCAC Tournament for the 12th year in a row, the Tigers then competed in the NCAA Div. III Tournament for the 24th time in program history where they saw their successful season come to an end with a hard-fought 3-2 loss against No. 1 Calvin in the regional championship match on Calvin’s home floor in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
"I want to thank Athletic Director, Dr. Gary Williams, and President, Dr. Mike Frandsen, for the opportunity to continue to lead the Tiger Women's Volleyball program. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and support they provided me in leading the team as the interim head coach this past season.” said Carus, “I have learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined and I enjoyed every moment of working with this team! The level of support from our entire athletic department is a part of the reason why I love Wittenberg. I look forward to continuing the legacy of this program and am confident that with the support from the University, community and alumni, we will continue to excel at developing mature young women on and off the court.”
In her three seasons in Springfield, the Tigers have accumulated an overall record of 74-12, highlighted by the 2017 squad advancing to the national-title match.
Carus and the Tigers picked up several postseason awards following the completion of the 2018 season, including herself being named the NCAC’s inaugural Bridget Sheehan Award winner as the league’s women’s volleyball Coach of the Year. In addition, five Wittenberg players were named to the 2018 All-NCAC team, highlighted by senior setter Karen Wildemann and junior middle blocker Aubrey Cox as first-team selections. Cox and Wildemann were also named to the 2018 AVCA Div. III All-America Team as second-team selections, while senior middle hitter Kennedey Schmidt and junior libero Taylor Yontz were also honorable-mention honorees on the All-America squad.
“Evelyn has been a part of our volleyball and athletic department community for three years and we believe in her and her ability to continue the tradition of excellence that our program has seen since the early ‘90’s.” said Williams, “Evelyn did a tremendous job this year with our program and we feel strongly that she is the right leader for us moving forward. We are very excited to see what Evelyn does with the program as we head into the next generation of Wittenberg Volleyball.”
Prior to Wittenberg, Carus spent a year as an assistant coach at Alma College in Michigan during the 2015 season.
“I couldn’t be happier for Wittenberg, the volleyball program and for Evelyn.” said former Wittenberg women’s volleyball head coach, Paco Labrador, “I’m certain I’m speaking for volleyball alumnae, past parents, friends of the program and the Wittenberg community when I say that Tiger Volleyball is in great hands and will continue to compete on a national level for many years to come under Evelyn’s leadership.”
Carus was a four-year letter winner as a libero at nearby Otterbein University, where she ranks in the top-10 for digs in a career, season and match. Playing for former Tiger All-American and current Otterbein Head Coach Monica (McDonald) Wright, Carus played a key role in the Cardinals' 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament championship. Otterbein advanced to the NCAA Div. III Tournament three times during her collegiate career.