NIU Sports

NIU parts ways with volleyball coach Ray Gooden, longest-serving coach at school

NIU volleyball coach Ray Gooden goes over strategy with the team during practice at the Convocation Center on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

NIU announced Friday it will not renew the contract of head volleyball coach Ray Gooden, the longest-serving coach at the university.

Athletic director Sean Frazier announced the move late Friday afternoon, bringing to a close Gooden’s 21-season tenure as head coach. He said the team has not been competing enough for MAC titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.

“We appreciate Ray’s years of service and his dedication to NIU Athletics, the volleyball program and his student-athletes,” Frazier said. “His record and accolades speak for themselves. He has made a huge impact on this department, the university, the volleyball community and beyond. Unfortunately, over the last six seasons, we have not seen the program take enough steps forward to compete for MAC Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, which is the standard we have set.”

Gooden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gooden posted an overall record of 357-295 (.547) at NIU and departs as the Huskies’ all-time winningest volleyball coach. The Huskies won Mid-American Conference regular season championships in 2011, 2015 and 2016, and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011 and 2016. NIU won at least 19 matches every year between 2010-2016, but has not reached that mark since.

The Huskies finished the 2022 season with a 17-11 overall record, 10-8 in MAC play, and did not qualify for the six-team MAC Tournament.

NIU will begin a national search for a new coach immediately.