COLUMBIA, Mo. - A proven winner with deep ties to the Midwest, Dawn Sullivan was named the eighth volleyball head coach in University of Missouri history, Director of Athletics Desireé Reed-Francois announced Sunday.
Sullivan, who holds a 109-38 (.741) mark as a head coach, takes over the Tigers program after five seasons as the head coach at UNLV. She led the Rebels to the 2022 Mountain West Conference Championship, five-straight postseason appearances and 20 or more wins in four of five seasons, including 54 victories over the last two seasons.
An All-America player at Kansas State, Sullivan has spent all but the last five years of her career in the Midwest with coaching stints at Iowa State and Illinois State.
"We had the privilege of speaking with an impressive group of coaches during this competitive search process, but it became clear that Dawn embodies everything we sought for in our next women's volleyball head coach," Reed-Francois said. "She's an elite leader, tireless recruiter and a proven winner. She has deep Midwestern roots, is smart, driven and student-athlete focused. Dawn understands the incredible history of Mizzou volleyball and has a vision to build upon that great tradition and bring championships to our Tiger community. Please join me in welcoming Dawn and her husband, Josh, as well as their children Katie, Sarah, Emily and Matthew to Mizzou!"
"It is an honor to take over a historically great program like Mizzou," Sullivan said. "Coaching at Mizzou provided a unique opportunity that I could not pass up. I am grateful for the opportunity to build upon the Tigers' volleyball tradition, and I am looking forward to competing in the SEC, which is top to bottom the best conference in the nation. The support provided by the athletic department as well as the university now and into the future is amazing. I want to thank the Board of Curators, President Choi, Desiree, the search committee and everyone at Mizzou Athletics for trusting me to lead the volleyball program. I am excited to get to know the team and meet the alumni and all the Mizzou Fans ... Let's get started!"
Sullivan, named Mountain West Coach of the Year twice, leaves UNLV as the second most winningest coach in program history with 109 wins. She was the fastest to break the 100-win plateau, achieving the feat in just 136 matches.
The Rebels won the Mountain West Championship in spring 2021 and fall 2022 and were the winners of the 2021 National Invitational Volleyball Championship. Overall, she led UNLV to five-straight postseason appearances, including NCAA bids in 2020 and 2022.
Prior to taking the UNLV job, Sullivan spent 13 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Iowa State. The Cyclones made 12 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, including five regional semifinals and two regional finals.
She was a standout player at K-State from 1996-99, helping lead the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1996 - the first of four straight during her playing career. She earned second-team All-America honors in 1999 and was inducted into the Wildcats' Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
Sullivan and her husband, Josh, have three daughters (Katie, Sarah and Emily) and one son (Matthew).