Nebraska associate head coach Tyler Hildebrand will return to his alma mater as the head women’s volleyball coach at Long Beach State, it was announced Sunday evening.
Hildebrand is the fourth Nebraska assistant coach in the last six years to land a Division I head coaching job.
“First, I would like to say how proud I am — and we all are — of the fight our girls just had in their postseason run,” Hildebrand said. “I have never seen a team play with that much heart and grit to will big wins down the stretch.
“Ultimately, this is an opportunity to be a head coach at my alma mater. We look forward to the journey ahead at Long Beach State, but we will never forget our time at Nebraska, which has been incredibly memorable. Our program, the student-athletes and Husker Nation are the reason we say ‘There is no place like Nebraska.’ I have loved every minute of it, and Nebraska will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Hildebrand has spent three seasons on the staff at Nebraska over the last five years. As an assistant coach in 2017, he helped the Huskers to their fifth NCAA championship, and three players – Kelly Hunter, Mikaela Foecke and Annika Albright — were named All-Americans. Hildebrand was responsible for the Husker defense, which led the Big Ten with an opponent hitting percentage of .154.
Spending two years away as the Director of Coaching for the USA Volleyball Beach National Team program, Hildebrand remained connected to Nebraska, serving as a consultant for John Cook in his spare time. In Hildebrand’s role with the national team, he has identified and recruited athletes to join the beach program and worked directly with the four beach teams that represented Team USA at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He had also previously coached at the 2016 Games in Rio.
Hildebrand returned for his second stint in Lincoln in 2020 as the first associate head coach in Cook’s tenure (2000-present). In his first season back at NU, he helped coach Nicklin Hames, Lauren Stivrins and Lexi Sun to All-America recognition, and Nebraska qualified for the NCAA Elite Eight during the spring season.
Hildebrand was instrumental in NU’s success in 2021, as the Huskers finished as national runner-up and made their 10th NCAA Final appearance in program history. NU counted three All-Americans in Lexi Rodriguez, Kayla Caffey and Madi Kubik.
“I’m sad that Tyler is moving on from Nebraska, but we are very happy for the Long Beach State program,” Cook said. “They are getting a respected coach who’s returning to his alma mater, which is a tremendous opportunity for him. Long Beach State’s tradition is as rich as any program in the country, and he has a chance to make that an elite program again. Tyler knows that, and he has a great plan for them to succeed.
“I want to personally thank Tyler on behalf of our team and staff for everything he has done for Nebraska Volleyball over the last five years. I wish him and his family the best, and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do with the Long Beach State program.”
Hildebrand, a three-time first-team All-America setter at Long Beach State, spent five seasons on the coaching staff of the men’s volleyball program there, including two years as associate head coach. In his final season on staff, Hildebrand was tabbed the 2017 AVCA Assistant Coach of the Year. He also served as the program’s the top assistant from 2013-15.
Hildebrand boasts collegiate, professional and international coaching experience on both the men’s and women’s sides. He traveled with the U.S. Men’s National Team to Tokyo as the squad’s setting consultant for the 2015 FIVB World Cup. The U.S. went 10-1 over the two-week round robin tournament to win its first World Cup since 1985 and qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
Hildebrand played professionally on the Men’s AVP Tour for two years (2006-07), then moved on to play internationally. He was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team from 2006 to 2012, winning four Pan American Cup championships over that period as part of his decorated career. While continuing his playing career, Hildebrand returned to the bench for the first time in 2008 as a volunteer assistant coach for Long Beach State under Alan Knipe.
Hildebrand joins Dani Busboom Kelly (Louisville), Chris Tamas (Illinois) and Kayla Banwarth (Ole Miss) as recent Husker assistants to take over Division I programs.
“Thank you to Coach Cook, who will forever be one of my greatest mentors and friends,” Hildebrand said. “Thank you to the players for another opportunity to coach amazing young women doing amazing things. And thank you to our administration and staff for everything they have done to welcome our family to Lincoln. I can’t wait to see what comes of the next few years of Nebraska Volleyball. It’s going to be special, and we will root them on every step of the way.”