Cal Poly

Cal Poly names longtime assistant new volleyball head coach

Caroline Walters was named the new volleyball head coach at Cal Poly on Friday, Dec. 21.
Caroline Walters was named the new volleyball head coach at Cal Poly on Friday, Dec. 21.

Cal Poly wasted no time finding a replacement for former women’s volleyball head coach Sam Crossen. The Mustangs hired Caroline Walters, who was the interim head coach at Cal Poly seven years ago and associate head coach for the past two seasons, the athletic department announced Friday.

“I’m very pleased to announce the promotion of Caroline Walters as our next head volleyball coach,” Don Oberhelman said in a press release. “Caroline has been at Cal Poly for 10 years, and I can’t think of a single person who has invested more heart and soul into Cal Poly volleyball.”

Crossen stepped down Wednesday, accepting the head coaching position at Cal. 

Walters was an assistant coach for eight seasons at Cal Poly before becoming associate head coach in 2017. In 2011, Walters led the Mustangs to a 12-17 record. In the two seasons after she was promoted to associate coach, Cal Poly compiled a 52-6 overall record, two Big West Conference titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

“Caroline has turned down a number of other opportunities over the years because of her loyalty to Cal Poly, and her belief that we are building something special here on the Central Coast,” Oberhelman said in the release. “She is ready for this opportunity, and is by far the best candidate in the country for our university.”

Walter’s duties as associate head coach included implementing defensive and blocking schemes and working with serve-receive passers. Her duties also included scouting, budget, finance and travel, as well as recruitment efforts off the court.

“I am extremely excited and thankful for this opportunity to continue implementing Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto,” said Walters in the release. “Over the past 10 years, I have been fortunate enough to work both for and with some amazing volleyball minds and I look forward to blending the pieces to establish my identity as head coach. “The framework is in place to keep moving forward with business as usual. Our program has been headed in the right direction for a while now and I eagerly await helping us achieve new milestones.”

Walters played 2003-07 at Santa Clara and was a three-time All-West Coast Conference honorable mention selection. She is second in school history with 1,932 career digs.

She started with Cal Poly in 2009 after a single year with the Los Gatos-based Vision Volleyball Club. Walters also has run a local volleyball club, 805 Elite Volleyball Club, since 2010.

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