Theis, a 2000 Milwaukee graduate, returns to Milwaukee after a six-year tenure at Ohio, where he led the squad to a record of 144-54 (.727). That mark places him third in the history of the Mid-American Conference and 18th among all active NCAA Division I head coaches.
“We welcome Ryan as the new head coach of the Marquette volleyball program,” Cords said. “Ryan has experienced success at every level of college volleyball with a proven track record as a head coach. He has worked his way up the coaching ladder and has seen success at every level. We were most impressed with how he has grown at every stage of his career and at the same time helped make the programs he worked for better. We are very confident in the future of Marquette volleyball under Ryan Theis.”
Under his leadership, the Bobcats made four NCAA championship appearances, including a pair of trips to the second round (2009 and '10), and claimed four MAC tournament championships. Both NCAA second-round defeats came at the hands of seeded-hosts in pivotal fifth sets.
“I am excited to return to my home state and Marquette has always been a place where I knew I wanted to be,” Theis said. “I am so thrilled that 15 years after I started my coaching career I am able to make that dream a reality. I have always had a great deal of respect for the University and love the city of Milwaukee. I am excited to compete for Big East championships and push deep into the NCAA tournament.”
A two-time MAC Coach of the Year (2009 and '13), Theis mentored three AVCA All-Americans during his tenure in Athens and helped 13 players earn all-conference accolades, including three conference player of the year selections.
Theis, a native of Madison, leaves Ohio tied with current Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston, whom he replaced in 2008, for the most victories in Bobcats’ history with 144. He compiled a 79-17 (.823) record in league action at Ohio while winning three regular-season league titles (six East Division championships) and was a combined 28-4 during his final two conference campaigns.
His 2013 team, which featured AVCA All-Americans Abby Gilleland and Kelly Lamberti, finished 27-6 overall, swept No. 8 Oregon and No. 21 Western Kentucky, and climbed as high as 18th in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll. The Bobcats also ranked 23rd nationally in attendance in 2013 as an average of 1,719 fans packed the Convocation Center.