December 9, 2013

Toomey steps down from King women's volleyball

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Chris Toomey has resigned as King University's head women's volleyball coach to accept the position of Next Generation Director at St. John Church in St. Louis, Mo. Toomey ended his tenure as women's volleyball head coach on high note, leading the Tornado to an overall record of 32-5 and their first Conference Carolinas championship.

As Next Generation Director, Toomey will be responsible for the leadership and growth of Next Generation Ministries (preschool through high school), casting a vision and leading initiatives for the Next Generation Ministries that complement the overall mission of the church, and providing leadership and oversight to the Next Generation staff. This is a tremendous opportunity for Toomey, as he moves into a new chapter of his life and pursues his passion for mentoring young people to lead transformational lives for Christ.

Toomey lead the Tornado to their most successful season in the NCAA era in 2013, amassing a 32-5 record, including a 17-1 conference record which won King share of the Conference Carolinas regular season championship.

"The job Chris has done with our women's volleyball program the past seven years is nothing short of remarkable," King athletic director David Hicks commented. "He followed in the shoes of a legend; 749 wins, 16 conference championships; just look at the banners in the Student Center to get an idea of the shoes he had to fill. That's tough in sports – following a legend. Just look at the list of coaches who've followed legends like Dean Smith, Woody Hayes and Tom Osborne---it's almost an impossible job to live up to the expectations.  But, Chris not only lived up to them, he matched them in his short career."

In seven seasons as head coach, Toomey tallied a 187-81 (.697) record, including a 2008 Appalachian Athletic Conference championship in addition to his 2013 Conference Carolinas title. Prior to taking over the Tornado program in 2007, Toomey was no stranger to King. As the son of Hall of Fame volleyball coach Susie Toomey, he practically grew up with the program, including four seasons as a student assistant from 1993-1997. During his time as a student, he also played tennis, and was named team MVP for both the 1995 and 1996 seasons.

Following graduation from King, Toomey served as a graduate assistant with the Lady Vols volleyball program while earning his master's degree at the University of Tennessee, and returned to his alma mater in 2000 to serve as head coach of the men's and women's tennis teams, where he was named AAC and NAIA Region IX coach of the year.

After leaving King in 2003, Toomey returned in 2007 to lead the women's volleyball program upon the retirement of his mother, Susie. He continued King's strong tradition in women's volleyball, and leaves the program in great shape for his successor.

"These are times where you have mixed emotions," stated Hicks. "I'm saddened to see such a tremendous coach depart, a great volleyball coach, but also a man with a passion for mentoring and leading young people. Chris' impact on the lives of the countless young ladies he has coached at King continues to be felt throughout the country and the world. There is a definite ripple effect from the lives he has touched.  I'm confident that will continue in his new role at St. John, but the King and the volleyball world has lost a tremendous person."

He will be missed, professionally, but also personally, as a member of the King coaching staff. In addition to being a tremendous leader for our women's volleyball student-athletes, Toomey has been an excellent mentor for many of our coaches, and a tremendous example of an ambassador for Christ on campus and in the conference and NCAA.

We wish him the best of luck in this new chapter of his life, and are excited at what God has in store for him. His last day in the office will be Friday, December 20. 

The search for his replacement will begin immediately.