Matt Ulmer was named head coach in April 2017 and has spent the last four seasons on the Oregon staff. Ulmer was an assistant coach for two years and then associate head coach in 2016 before taking over the head job prior to the 2017 season.
On Nov. 30, 2017, UO director of athletics Rob Mullens announced that Ulmer had signed a new four-year contract that would keep him as the Ducks' head coach through at least the 2021 season.
In his first season as Oregon's head coach, Ulmer guided the Ducks to an 18-12 overall record, 10-10 in Pac-12 play, and the program's seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Ducks swept Kennesaw State to open the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 13 seed BYU on its home floor. The Ducks defeated four AVCA top-25 teams under Ulmer, including three top-15 teams, and finished second in the Pac-12 with a .263 team hitting percentage. Senior Taylor Agost and sophomore Ronika Stone each earned all-Pac-12 honors, with Agost also garnering AVCA all-America honorable mention recognition.
Ulmer opened his UO head-coaching career in emphatic fashion on Aug. 25, 2017, guiding the Ducks to a win over then-No. 5 and eventual national champion Nebraska at the VERT Challenge in Gainesville, Fla. The win gave Oregon its first win over a top-five team since 2012, and its first-ever win in the VERT Challenge.
Ulmer came to Eugene after spending seven seasons at Long Beach State, five of which were served as a full-time assistant. He was also the sand volleyball program’s head coach at Long Beach, where he led the 49ers to a national championship during the 2013 season to become the youngest head coach to win a Division I volleyball championship (indoor included, men and women).
The Ducks made the NCAA Tournament in each of Ulmer’s three seasons on staff before he became head coach, including a run to the regional semifinals during his first season in 2014. In 2016, with Ulmer in an elevated role as associate head coach, the Ducks finished fourth in the Pac-12 at 21-10 (13-7 Pac-12) and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Ulmer was in charge of the Oregon defense, which held opponents to a .194 hitting percentage overall, the best since 2005, and a .198 hitting percentage in Pac-12 play, the best mark in conference play since 2006. The Ducks also enjoyed an 11-game winning streak and took down No. 8 Washington with a three-set sweep for their first win in Seattle since 2009.
Ulmer has helped mentor three all-American selections while at Oregon, including a third-team selection for Lindsey Vander Weide in 2016, as well as five all-Pac-12 selections. Amanda Benson also earned honorable mention all-American recognition in 2016, and was all-region and all-Pac-12 selection along with Vander Weide. The Ducks have also produced three Pac-12 all-freshman selections in Ulmer’s three seasons, with Ronika Stone becoming the latest to earn that honor in 2016.
As the recruiting coordinator for the Ducks in 2016, Ulmer brought in a class that garnered the No. 2 national ranking and proved vital to yet another tournament run for Oregon. Ulmer was also a part of two more top 10 classes in 2014 and 2015. While at Long Beach, each of Ulmer’s six recruiting classes garnered rankings, including three in the top 20 and a No. 10 ranking in 2014 that made LBSU the highest-ranked mid major program.
As a beach coach, in addition to guiding Long beach to the title in 2013, Ulmer has coached five athletes who have won FIVB medals and four that have made main draws in AVP events. He has coached four beach all-Americans, and was the only coach to appear in every national championship match, pairs and teams, in 2012 and 2013.
In total, Ulmer has coached 25 players who have played at the professional level.
In addition to molding success on the court, Ulmer has been instrumental in academic excellence for his players. Ulmer’s student-athletes have garnered 12 Pac-12 all-academic honors in his time at Oregon, and 28 Big West all-academic awards during his time at Long Beach.
Away from the collegiate game, Ulmer has worked with USA Volleyball Select A1 for the past three years. In 2014, he was honored with the Long Beach Century Club Ernie Pollman Award, which recognizes an individual who impacts the community’s youth through sports.
In 2012, Ulmer was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as a recipient of the “Thirty Under 30” award, recognizing outstanding up-and-coming coaches in the profession throughout all levels under the age of 30. Ulmer was one of 10 coaches recognized from Division I.
Ulmer spent his playing days at Carthage College, where he was a setter under head coach LJ Marx. While at Carthage, he led the team to two National Championship appearances, and was named a first-team D-III All-American as a senior. He finished his college career as the Carthage career leader in both assists and service aces, and in 2015 he was inducted into the Carthage Hall of Fame.
While at Carthage, Ulmer also worked as an assistant coach for the women’s team, serving for five years from 2002-2006. He also worked as the club coach for TNT Volleyball Club from 2003-07, and has served with the Cal Juniors club team while in Southern California, helping the team earn two All-America selections on the way to a bronze medal in the Junior Olympics.
Ulmer completed his Master’s degree in education in 2008 at Carthage. He graduated from Carthage in May 2006.
Ulmer and his wife, Kara, have one son, Camden (3), and one daughter, Harper (2).
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Ron Beick is in his third year with the Ducks having previously served as the volunteer assistant coach. Beick brings 37 years of coaching experience to the sideline with him, spending time at the high school and club levels since 1979.
Beick has 29 years’ experience at the high school level, boasting a 524-188 overall record during his time at four different schools. He most recently coached at North Medford High School (1994-2008) where he was named Oregon Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2007.
The Alhambra, Calif., native also co-founded three club programs, including the Rogue Valley Volleyball Club.
Beick earned a Bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego while acquiring a Master’s degree from UCLA.
He and his wife Molly have three sons, Kevin, Doug and Tim. Kevin and Doug graduated from UO and Tim is currently a UO student completing his degree in Psychology.
Dave Butler joined the Oregon volleyball staff as an assistant coach in April 2017, having spent the previous three seasons as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton.
Butler worked with outside hitters and middle blockers in his time at Fullerton, while also serving as recruiting coordinator and doing video breakdown and game planning.
Butler was instrumental in the development of Kyra Smith while at CSFU, guiding her through a freshman season (2015) in which she ranked eighth in the conference in blocks per set. In 2016, Smith ranked seventh in the conference in blocks per set and Summer Kerins ranked in the top 10 in the conference in hitting percentage as a sophomore.
Before joining Cal State Fullerton, Butler worked at Long Beach State for a season in 2013. Butler was the volunteer assistant coach for the women’s indoor team, while also serving as an assistant for the sand team that finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Prior to his time at Long Beach State, Butler worked with the Sports Performance Volleyball Club in Aurora, Ill., beginning in 2003. He worked as an assistant to Rick Butler and the 18 Elite Team. He also led a pair of teams to bronze medal finishes at the 18 Open (2012) and the 18 Club (2013) AAU National Championships. He also coached four AAU all-Americans and the 2013 Gatorade national high school player of the year.
From 2005-07, Butler served as a student assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team at Western Illinois, where he helped lead the team to three consecutive conference tournament appearances, the only three in the school’s history.
As a player, Butler was a five-year starter at outside hitter for the Western Illinois Club Volleyball team, earning conference player of the year honors while also serving as a three-year team captain and a player-coach. He graduated in 2009 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology.
Oregon volleyball head coach Matt Ulmer announced on Jan. 12 the signing of Erika Dillard as an assistant coach.
Dillard joins the Ducks' staff after spending nine years (2008-16) as the top assistant at Long Beach State, where she primarily worked with the middle blockers while also managing the program's budget, academics and overall day-to-day logistics.
"This is an amazing day for Oregon volleyball," said Ulmer. "Erika is an incredible example for our student-athletes. The level of care, dedication and time that she pours into her relationships is unmatched.
"Erika is one of the best coaches in our sport, period. I feel extremely fortunate that Erika, her husband Jason, and daughter Reagan are moving to Eugene and being a part of our Duck Family."
During Dillard's time at LBSU, she helped the 49ers to three Big West championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances while coaching 36 all-Big-West selections, seven all-Americans, 12 all-Region honorees, one Big West player of the year, one Big West freshman of the year and 20 academic all-Americans.
Ulmer and Dillard have a history of working together, having served as assistants together at Long Beach State from 2008 to 2013. Dillard was Ulmer's beach volleyball assistant coach in 2013 when he was the beach head coach, helping to lead the 49ers to the beach national championship.
During the 2014 indoor season, Dillard helped take Long Beach State back to the postseason as the Beach reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 27-5 record, including a perfect 16-0 record in the Big West. LBSU followed that up with a 25-6 mark in 2015, finishing second in the Big West Conference.
In 2014, Dillard was named the AVCA "30 Under 30" award winner.
Dillard began her Division I coaching career at LBSU in 2008 after playing for the 49ers for five years as a middle blocker. She reached the national championship match as a freshman in 2001, and then led the team in 2002 with a .380 hitting percentage to earn all-Big-West honors. A second All-Big West nod followed in her junior season, when she led Long Beach State in kills with 487 and received an All-Region Honorable Mention. After a medical redshirt in 2004, she closed out her career in 2005 with another outstanding year, posting 312 kills and once again earning All-Big West and All-Region honors.
Following her playing career, Dillard spent two years as a graduate assistant at the University of La Verne, making two NCAA appearances and reaching the championship game in 2008. Dillard earned her Master's degree in business administration from La Verne in 2010.
Ron Beick, who served as a full-time assistant coach for the Ducks in 2017, will return to the role of volunteer assistant coach, a spot he held for UO in 2015 and 2016.
"You can't ask for better quality people than Erika, Ron, and Dave (Butler)," said Ulmer. "These three will help ensure that our current and future student-athletes have positive, memorable and successful experiences."