Four-time Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year Ray Bechard has overseen the steady transition of Kansas volleyball onto the national stage as he enters his 20th season as head coach in 2017. Bechard has led the Jayhawks to five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a national semifinalist finish in 2015 and a Big 12 Conference title in 2016. The winningest coach in Kansas volleyball history reached 300 victories at Kansas in 2015 and collected his 1,000th career win in 2014. Both milestones put him in elite company, with the latter putting him at second among active Big 12 Conference coaches.
Bechard earned Big 12 Coach of the Year for the third time in the last four seasons and was named national coach of the year by PrepVolleyball.com and Hero Sports. Prior to the 2012 season, Bechard completed his second stint with Team USA Volleyball. Bechard was one of eight collegiate coaches selected by USA Volleyball to lead the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Program at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio, June 26-July 5, 2012.
Bechard came to KU after spending 13 years as the head coach at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas. After a stellar coaching career at BCCC, Bechard was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1998. He completed his career at BCCC with the highest all-time winning percentage among junior college/community college coaches and ranked fourth all-time with 716 career wins. Twice (1990 and 1993) Bechard was named the AVCA National Junior College Coach of the Year, and he was selected the AVCA District IV Coach of the Year 12 times.
Bechard began his coaching career when he served three years (1980-83) as head coach of the girls’ volleyball team and the boys’ basketball team at Lewis High School in Lewis, Kansas where he directed LHS to a pair of conference titles on the volleyball court.
A native of Grinnell, Kansas, Bechard played basketball at Barton County, where he helped the Cougars to a 45-13 record in his two seasons. Following his junior college playing career, Bechard attended Fort Hays State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1980. Bechard is married to the former Pamela Brown. The couple have two children.read more...