Experienced in coaching a wide range of ages and talent levels, Ryan Booher enters his seventh season as head coach of the Tornado men's volleyball team. The Bristol, Tenn., native has taken the reigns and brought success and stability to King’s only Division I competing program. After reaching the Conference Carolinas Tournament finals in his first season at the head of the program, Booher has laid the foundation that will bring the Tornado a conference championship.
In 2016, the Tornado started with a stiff test as they traveled to Hawai'i to take on the seventh-ranked Rainbow Warriors and eight-ranked Lewis as well as Harvard. King finished the season with an overall record of 8-24 while going 5-13 in Conference Carolinas play. The season saw school records fall as Jeff Sprayberry set a new mark with 420 kills on the season. Nick Drooker also set a program best with 1,018 assists and Jon Wheaton posted 113 blocks to set a new school record. Sprayberry garnered second team all-conference honors and was voted by the fans as Off the Block/Springbak Player of the Month on April 1.
The Tornado returned to postseason play for the first time since 2011 as King earned the fifth seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament with a league mark of 10-8. However, King fell in five sets at Limestone in the quarterfinals to end their season with an overall record of 15-13, their first winning record since 2011. The 15 wins also set a program record as did the 10 Conference Carolinas victories. Setter Nick Drooker garnered Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year honors after setting a school record for assists in a season while Eddie Moushikhian earned second team all-conference recognition.
King struggled with injuries during the 2014 season that ended with a 9-18 overall record and 4-10 mark in Conference Carolinas play. The Tornado narrowly missed out on a Confernece Carolinas Tournament berth for the second straight season. Senior libero Jermey Funk and freshman outside hitter Nick Serowski were a couple of the bright spots for King in 2014. Serowski earned third team all-conference recognition while Funk ranked fourth in the league in digs and fifth in digs per set.
The 2013 season didn't go as planned for the men's volleyball team, ending the season with a 10-18 overall record and 5-11 mark in Conference Carolinas play, narrowly missing a tournament berth. Under Booher's guidance, the Tornado led the league in block assists, and finished second in total blocks. Both Jeremy Funk and Michael Koebel were named to the Academic All-Conference Carolinas team.
In his first full season as head coach in 2011, Booher was selected as the Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year after guiding the Tornado to a second place conference finish going 5-3 and 11-8 overall. He coached the Conference Carolinas Player and Setter of the Year (Joel Salva) and Libero of the Year (Morris Cephas).
The Tornado won their last three games of the 2011 season to advance to the Conference Carolinas Championship match against Mount Olive College. Their first conference championship match ended in a 3-0 loss in a tight contest but showed that the Tornado is a team ready to compete for conference championships so early in the program’s existence.
Booher’s players have already shown signs of success both at King and beyond. In his first two years, he coached three All-Conference Carolinas selections, including two-time all-conference player James Friddle, and seven all-academic selections. In Nov. 2011, former Tornado player Joel Salva inked a professional contract to play for Liga de Voleibol Superior (LVS) in Puerto Rico.
After a position change early in the season, Booher guided former Tornado Brandon Rorer transition into the libero position and in the same year ranked in the top-5 in digs per set, once hitting No. 1 in the country in the category. Eric Glenn also finished the same year fifth in the country in kill percentage (.348).
Booher was named head coach in May 2010 after serving as interim coach for the Tornado’s final 13 matches that season. In that time, Booher led King to an 11-2 overall record to close out the season. He started his run as head coach of the Tornado with 11 straight wins including a 4-0 conference record with the only two setbacks coming at the end of the season at NCAA Division I opponents Ball State and IPFW.
Booher is no stranger to the King volleyball program having traveled with the women's team on mission trips. Booher also serves as the president of the Northeast Tennessee Volleyball Club, a traveling squad for girls between the ages of 8 to 18, which he founded in 1998. The organization, which is 14 years old, has 15 traveling teams and has seen some of its alumni move on to attend King and play for the Tornado.
In addition to his experience with King and the NETVC, Booher has been playing volleyball for more than 20 years. At one time, he played with the King men’s club volleyball team prior to his involvement coaching the team.
Along with his mission work that has taken him to Germany and Costa Rica, among others, Booher and his teams volunteer at the YWCA and Niswonger Children’s Hospital (Johnson City, Tenn.).
Booher graduated from King with a degree in Business with a minor in Education in 2013. He is a life-long resident of Bristol, Tenn., where he currently resides.