Head Coach Craig Skinner Signs Contract Extension
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky volleyball head coach Craig Skinner has signed a contract extension, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced Wednesday afternoon. Skinner’s new agreement will keep him as the head coach through the 2022-23 season.
“I can’t thank Mitch Barnhart, Dr. Capilouto and Katie Eiserman enough for their belief and trust in me to run this program,” Skinner said. “Megan and I have loved our time in Kentucky and look forward to the future. As a program, we will continue to pursue our goal of winning a national championship. I’m so appreciative of our current and former players and staff who have helped transform Kentucky into an elite program. Working alongside great people to help develop our student-athletes into champions on and off the court is something I look forward to each and every day. This program has always been about people of substance to help ensure sustained success over time.”
Skinner has won two Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year awards, with his latest coming last season. The 2017 season was arguably Skinner’s best as coach of the Cats, as UK captured the SEC regular-season championship for the first time since 1988. The Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in the modern era of the NCAA Tournament after taking down East Tennessee State, Western Kentucky and BYU.
Under Skinner, UK has produced 13 All-America first, second or third team distinctions, including two – Leah Edmond and Madison Lilley – last season. UK has hauled in 46 All-SEC honors in his 13 seasons, including the 2008 SEC Player of the Year and three SEC Freshman of the Year awards. UK has won the SEC Libero of the Year in seven of the last eight years. In the classroom, UK has won the AVCA Team Academic Award in each of the last four seasons.
“Since the moment he arrived in Lexington, Craig has been resolute in his belief that our volleyball program can win at the highest level,” Barnhart said. “We experienced immediate success and have made strides every year since thanks to the way he inspires growth in the student-athletes he leads. Coming off one of the best seasons in school history, I know Craig and his team are even more inspired to pursue their ultimate goal: a national championship.”
Kentucky will open the season in the USC Tournament Aug. 24 against Creighton. Kentucky will take on Western Kentucky in an exhibition in Bowling Green, Kentucky Aug. 16.
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