NORMAN, Okla. — A good way to do something when nobody’s watching may be to do it on Christmas Eve.
Probably, that’s just how it worked out for Oklahoma’s volleyball program and new coach Lindsey Gray-Walton, now in her fourth day as the Sooners’ new coach.
After eight seasons as an assistant to Kentucky coach Craig Skinner and less than two weeks after being named the American Volleyball Coaches Association's National Assistant Coach of the Year, Gray-Walton was announced as the successor to Santiago Restrepo on Dec. 24.
Restrepo resigned at the end of November after 14 seasons that included eight trips to the NCAA tournament, yet also three consecutive losing seasons before his resignation.
Additionally, in 2012, Gray-Walton was named one of the “Top 30 Coaches Under 30” by the AVCA.
“Our nationwide search identified some outstanding emerging leaders in women’s volleyball,” Castiglione said. “We’re thrilled to introduce Lindsey Gray-Walton to our Sooner family. She’s highly respected and lauded throughout the profession.”
Not only was Gray-Walton a long-time assistant at Kentucky, she was also recruiting coordinator for the Wildcats. In that role, she put together seven straight top 25 classes, as ranked by Prep Volleyball. Her 2017 class was ranked fifth in the nation.
Kentucky went 29-4 in the season that just ended, eliminated in the Elite Eight by Nebraska, which went on to win the national championship.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to named the next head coach for Oklahoma volleyball and am forever grateful of the mentors and teams I have had the privilege of coaching that have helped provide for an opportunity like this,” Gray-Walton said.
A 2008 graduate of Georgia Tech, Gray-Walton as on staff at the College of Charleston until 2009, where she helped get the Cougars to the NCAA tournament and win a Southern Conference title.
During her time as an assistant in Lexington, the Wildcats amassed a 189-67 record.
“She is one of the most talented up-and-coming coaches in our profession and will do a fantastic job leading OU,” said Skinner, who’s now faced with replacing her.