Blinn names Mellinger new volleyball coach

Erin Mellinger was named the fourth head volleyball coach of Blinn College by the Board of Trustees during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Mellinger, who inherits a program that won its second national championship last season, comes to Blinn from the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), where she has been an assistant coach for the last five seasons. Mellinger helped guide CSI to a national championship in 2009 and a sixth-place finish at last season’s tournament. During her time there, the team made three national tournament appearances, won two Region 18 championships and posted an overall record of 148-48.

“I’m tremendously excited to continue Blinn College’s tradition of excellence, both on the court and in the classroom,” said Mellinger, who begins her duties at Blinn on Friday. “I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and preparing for an exciting 2012 season.”

Prior to her stint at CSI, Mellinger was the head coach at Lewis-Clark State College, an NAIA Division I program, for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. She was also the head coach at Independence (Kan.) Community College, where she led the NJCAA Division I program to a 62-21 record over two seasons, coached two All-Americans and was named the NJCAA District K coach of the year.
“Erin’s history of success at the College of Southern Idaho and her head coaching accolades at Independence Community College make her the perfect fit for Blinn’s volleyball program and its tradition of excellence,” said Athletic Director Richard Speas.

Mellinger’s own collegiate playing career began in the junior college ranks with Treasure Valley (Ore.) Community College, where she helped the school reach the Scenic West Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in 19 years. A defensive specialist, she then transferred to Lewis-Clark for one season before concluding her career at Chicago State University.

Mellinger has a master’s degree in physical education and will teach kinesiology.

“We are proud to announce the hire of a coach with national championship experience who can continue to build upon the proud tradition our volleyball program has already established,” said Blinn College President Harold Nolte.

Mellinger replaces David Rehr, who left Blinn in January to become the head coach at Division I Arkansas State University. In nine seasons at Blinn, Rehr led the Buccaneers to eight national tournament appearances, including national championships in 2008 and 2011. During that span, the Buccaneers amassed a 313-35 record and produced 14 NJCAA All-Americans and 11 American Volleyball Coaching Association All-Americans.

Rehr was inducted into the NJCAA coaching hall of fame in 2011.

In its 16 seasons, the Buccaneer volleyball program has posted a 482-167 record, good for a .743 winning percentage.

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