GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Debbie Kirch has assumed the roles of Assistant AD for Compliance and Student Services and Senior Woman Administrator with Green Bay Athletics, Director of Athletics Ken Bothof announced on Monday. To take on the positions, Kirch will step down as head volleyball coach after 16 seasons and 174 victories. Bothof indicated a national search for a head volleyball coach will begin immediately.
"I know this was a tough decision for Debbie, because she has put so much hard work and energy into our volleyball program for the past 16 years," said Bothof. "I am excited about her interest to step into this new role, and her administrative experience as a head coach, knowledge of NCAA Compliance, and her passion for Green Bay Athletics will be a valuable asset to our student-athletes, coaches and staff."
"I want to thank Ken Bothof for giving me this opportunity," said Kirch. "I am not sure there is ever a good time to leave coaching because there are always student-athletes that you want to continue to work with, and that is definitely the case with the returning roster from the 2012 team. However, I am looking forward to seeing the volleyball program continue to grow and build off of this season. It is a wonderful group of student-athletes who represent the program well."
In Kirch's new role, she will monitor the athletics department for compliance with NCAA, Horizon League and institutional rules and regulations and provide NCAA rules education to coaches, staff, student-athletes and boosters.
As the senior woman administrator, Kirch will provide guidance on issues involving female student-athletes and sport programs and serve on the Horizon League's Executive Committee. She will also provide sport supervision for several sport programs and serve on the athletics department's senior staff.
Kirch will also oversee student-athlete academics services, including supervision of the athletics academic coordinator and academic mentor. She will coordinate support services and life skills awareness which assist in the professional and personal development of student-athletes.
"I am looking forward to my new role as an administrator and hope that I can make an even bigger impact on our department as a whole," said Kirch. "There are so many positives about Green Bay Athletics, from the success our student-athletes achieve on the field of play, to their success in the classroom and their impact in the community, and I am excited to work to grow that success in this role. Green Bay represents all that is good about college athletics, and I am proud to have been a part of that for the past 16 years."
Kirch began her career at Green Bay in 1997, and after taking over a program that had won just three games the prior season, resurrected the program. In 2003, Green Bay posted a 23-11 record, the program's inaugural league tournament title and the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. She earned 2003 Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors and was a finalist for national coach of the year.
Off the court, Kirch's teams earned appearances on the AVCA Academic Team Award list from 2000-04, 2006-09 and 2010-12. In the spring of 2011, the squad led all Green Bay athletics programs with an impressive 3.66 grade-point average. The team has earned the Horizon League's Community Service and "Raise Your Sights" awards for volunteer hours in the community. Active nationally in the volleyball community, Kirch served on the AVCA All-American Committee from 2007-09. She was also a member of the AVCA All-Midwest Region Committee from 2005-09.
Prior to her appointment as Green Bay head coach, Kirch served as both the assistant women's volleyball coach and head coach of the men's volleyball club team at Northwestern University. Kirch was also an assistant at Mississippi State University and head coach of both the boys and girls volleyball programs at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill.
"It was definitely a difficult decision for me. Volleyball and coaching has been such a huge part of my life," said Kirch. "I have been coaching at various levels for over 20 years now and there are going to be a lot of things I'll miss - I consider myself lucky to have been a part of so many student-athletes' lives, to have been a part of their development, both as athletes and as people during their college careers. I am very proud of the young women that have come through our program, proud of what they have achieved while they were here and proud of what they have achieved after they graduated. As competitive as I am, it is that part of coaching I'll miss the most, but I'll look forward to being a part of the achievements of even more student-athletes."
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