Missouri State hires new volleyball coach

SPRINGFIELD – Veteran head coach Steven McRoberts has been hired to lead the Missouri State volleyball program, Missouri State Director of Athletics Kyle Moats announced Thursday, Jan. 30.

In 23 years as a collegiate head coach, including 15 at the Division I level, McRoberts owns a 587-245 (.706) overall record with 21 winning seasons and 19 years with 20 or more victories.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity that Kyle (Moats) and Casey (Hunt) are giving me as the head volleyball coach at Missouri State,” McRoberts said. “This program is well respected around the country. There have been so many great coaches and players that have paved the way for this successful program. I will do my best to uphold their legacy.”

A 10-time conference coach of the year, McRoberts’ teams have won a combined 13 conference regular season, tournament, and national postseason tournament titles. He has mentored a total of 20 All-Americans, 64 all-conference players, 11 conference players of the year, 12 Academic All-Americans, and 29 total specialty award winners at the conference level.

“I am extremely pleased to have Coach McRoberts, Stacy, Jackson, Mollie and Nate as part of our Bears family,” added Moats. “Coach McRoberts is a proven head coach who has won everywhere he’s been. He and his family will be a tremendous asset to our university and community. His plan for our program and my goals and expectations matched up ideally.”

McRoberts comes to Missouri State after a six-year tenure at the University of Mississippi, where he posted a 111-82 record and guided the Rebels to the 2017 National Invitational Volleyball Championship title, the first postseason national championship for any program in the school’s history.

“I have been thoroughly impressed with the facilities and the overall attention that is given to the volleyball program,” McRoberts continued. “I am looking forward to getting my family to Springfield and I am excited to get to work! Go Bears!”

He guided Ole Miss to three 22-win seasons, the most wins during the rally scoring era, had a pair of school-record 14-match winning streaks, and received AVCA Top 25 votes in 2019 for the first time in 12 years. Additionally, the Rebels’ four consecutive winning seasons from 2014-17 marked a first for the program in three decades.

Prior to his time in Oxford, McRoberts led Tulsa to a 78-24 record, two NCAA Tournaments, two Conference USA regular season titles and a C-USA Tournament championship in three seasons. He coached five All-America selections at TU, including the NCAA’s career leader in kills during the 25-point scoring era, and the school’s all-time digs leader.

McRoberts was the Conference USA and AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2011 as the Golden Hurricane won 28 matches and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tulsa won its second straight C-USA regular season crown and added a tournament title the following year for another NCAA bid, and led the NCAA in digs per set with a final RPI of 37 in his third and final season.

As the head coach at Central Arkansas from 2005-10, McRoberts posted a 146-58 overall record and built the Sugar Bears into a Southland Conference power, finishing his stay with back-to-back SLC regular season titles. That began a four-year stretch, extending into his time at Tulsa, where his teams combined for a 109-25 overall record and 63-5 conference mark.

The Southland Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010, McRoberts tutored the SLC Player and Setter of the Year those same three seasons, adding four league freshmen of the year and one Libero of the Year in his six-year tenure. In 2013, McRoberts was one of seven coaches named to the Southland Conference All-Time Honor Roll.

Before taking over at Central Arkansas, McRoberts compiled a 252-81 record in eight seasons as the head coach at NAIA Lubbock Christian University. His teams won seven conference titles and three region championships, qualifying for the national tournament five times and finishing with a top-25 ranking on six occasions. A six-time Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and three-time Region Coach of the Year, LCU achieved the highest national ranking (4th) and highest postseason finish (5th) in school history during his tenure, setting a school record with 38 wins in 1998.

McRoberts received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in social studies and health from Harding University in 1993, and his Master’s in physical education from Henderson State in 1996.

McRoberts and his wife, Stacy, have three children: sons, Jackson and Nathaniel, and daughter, Mollie.

His hire is contingent upon final approval by the Missouri State Board of Governors at its next scheduled meeting.