BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Former Western Washington University volleyball All-American and assistant coach Samantha Hutchinson has been named the head women’s volleyball coach at Tacoma Community College.
Hutchinson is a native of University Place, just a few miles away from the TCC campus, where she was a standout prep player at Curtis High School prior to her All-American career at Western.
“We are very proud of Sam and all of her accomplishments, first as an All-American player and then as a coach,” said WWU head volleyball coach Diane Flick-Williams, who is entering her 18th season leading the Vikings. “We are really excited about this opportunity for Sam at TCC. With her knowledge and experience, she will have an immediate impact on the Titan program."
As a player, Hutchinson starred for the Vikings from 2011-14, earning three consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors (2012-14). She finished her career with 2,438 digs, second-most in WWU and GNAC history. Her illustrious career was highlighted by being named a three-time AVCA Division II All-American, earning second-team honors twice and was a first-team selection as a junior in 2013. Hutchinson played in all of WWU’s 105 matches during her career, with the Vikings combining to go 84-21 with a pair of GNAC championships and three trips to the NCAA Championships.
After her playing career ended, Hutchinson remained with the program as an assistant coach for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. During her time on the coaching staff, Hutchinson was an integral part of helping lead the Vikings to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament and the 2015 NCAA Division II Final Four.
“I look forward to returning home to create a successful, student-centered volleyball program for the Titans," Hutchinson said. "This is a wonderful opportunity and I am eager to start this new journey and help the TCC volleyball program reach its full potential."
Hutchinson spent seven total years in Bellingham, five as a player after redshirting her freshman season, and two more as part of the coaching staff.
“It’s really hard for me to put into words what the WWU volleyball program means to me. I can’t thank Diane (Flick-Williams) and James (Suh) enough for giving me the opportunity to come play at Western,” added Hutchinson. “During my junior year in high school after I verbally committed to WWU, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to be able to play volleyball again. But Diane said I would always be part of this family no matter what happened. That’s when I knew how special this program really was. Over the seven years I have been at Western I learned so much as a player, coach and how to be better person, and that is all thanks to Diane and the culture she has created. WWU is a special place and I am truly blessed that I was lucky enough to be part of it.”
TCC Athletic Director Jason Prenovost is confident that Hutchinson is a great choice to lead the Titan women's volleyball team, a strong program that traditionally finishes near the top of the Northwest Athletic Conference.
"Samantha is a great hire for TCC," said Prenovost in a news release. "She is local player who went to one of the top college programs in the country and excelled. To excel on defense in any sport requires discipline, work ethic and grit. We value those qualities in our coaches and students at TCC and are excited to welcome Samantha Hutchinson into the Titan Family."
The WWU volleyball program will add a member to the coaching staff prior to the start of the upcoming 2017 season. The Vikings are scheduled to open the season Sept. 1-2 with four matches at The Terrace Hotel Classic in Lakeland, Florida, where they will face defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul, Pace, New Haven and tournament host Florida Southern. WWU’s first home match at the newly renovated WECU Court at Carver Gymnasium will be September 19 vs. Simon Fraser (7 pm).
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