East Central University Head Volleyball Coach Dave Thorn has announced his resignation, after eight years with the Tigers program, to pursue other opportunities.
"Coach Thorn has been a valued member of the ECU Tigers Family since 2007," said Director of Athletics Dr. Jeff Williams. "He has left a historic imprint on the institution by building and implementing our NCAA women's volleyball program."
Thorn has been the only head coach for ECU since the start of the program in 2008, compiling a 79-175 record. Since joining the Great American Conference in the 2011 season, Thorn has guided the team to three GAC Championship appearances, including two trips to the semi-finals (2011 & 2013).
"I would like to thank Dr. Williams, President Hargrave and the rest of the ECU Athletic Department for their support during my time at East Central," said Thorn. "I enjoyed having the opportunity to start the volleyball program at ECU and look forward to its continued successes. Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger!"
During his tenure at ECU, 12 student-athletes earned all-conference honors and the teams earned four American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Awards.
While the 2015 season was a rebuilding year for the Tigers, senior Hayley Gerken emerged as a standout in the ECU program. Gerken set four career records and is in the top-10 career lists in six other categories. The Orange, Calif., native set the career service aces (103), block assists (299), block solos (56) and total blocks (355) records.
Thorn has also produced several coaches from his student-athletes, including Tatiana Booth (Vernon College) and Emily Holombek (University of Dallas). Both have found immediate success, with Holombek guiding her team to two-straight conference tournaments in her first two seasons and Booth helping the team to a region runner-up title in her first season.
"Coach Thorn recruited, retained and graduated impressive student-athletes over the past eight years who are now successful in life," added Williams. "We are forever grateful for his contributions to Tiger Athletics success. We will miss the Thorn family, we wish Dave, Beatriz and Sara the best and we thank them for their investment into our lives and community."
A national search for the Tigers next head coach will begin immediately.