Long Beach State men’s volleyball associate head coach Tyler Hildebrand has been hired as an assistant coach for the Nebraska women’s volleyball team, coach John Cook announced Tuesday evening.
Hildebrand replaces Chris Tamas, who accepted the head coach position at Illinois in February.
Hildebrand, who celebrated his 33rd birthday Tuesday, is in his second year as associate head coach and fifth year overall on the staff for the Long Beach State men’s program. A former All-American at Long Beach State, Hildebrand was the top assistant there from 2013-15 after a decorated playing career on the U.S. men’s national team. He will join the Husker program next week and could still potentially serve as a volunteer coach with the 49ers for an NCAA Tournament run in May. The 49ers are currently 15-2 and ranked No. 2 in the AVCA poll.
Hildebrand will have a hand in coaching all positions at Nebraska, as well as recruiting. He is a former setter who has run both the offense and the blocking defense at Long Beach State.
“I want him to be involved in every part of our program,” Cook said in a news release. “Tyler is an outstanding coach, and he’s recruited a lot of the players at Long Beach State who have them in the hunt for a national title this year. He’s an extremely hard worker, evidenced by all the different teams he’s coached. I know that he has the confidence to come in here and not miss a beat with what we’ve been doing. He will instill his confidence in our players and keep going on what we’ve been building. My goal is always to find somebody that can make me a better coach, and Tyler is going to make me a better coach.”
Since concluding his collegiate playing career at Long Beach State in 2006, Hildebrand has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments both as a player and coach. Professionally, he played on the U.S. men’s national team from 2006-12 and was a four-time Pan American Cup champion and a World University Games bronze medalist. He later was the setting consultant for the U.S. men’s national team in 2015 as it won the FIVB World Cup and earned the bronze medal in the World League. Last summer, Hildebrand coached the U.S. beach volleyball duo of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Hildebrand also played professionally on the beach as part of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) from 2006-07.
Hildebrand’s wife, Kristin (Richards) Hildebrand, is a former U.S. women’s national team captain and recently retired from playing. She will be involved with the Husker program in a role to be determined later, similar to the roles Chris and Jen Tamas served on the Husker staff as a husband-wife duo the past two years.
“Of all the coaches I’ve hired, Tyler is giving up more of what he has going on right now than anyone,” Cook said. “He’s got a Long Beach State men’s team that could win a national championship. He had a contract offer to be with the U.S. men’s national team that could be favored to win gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. And he’s also giving up his successful club program that he’s been a part of. So he’s giving up a lot to come to Nebraska. I know it was a difficult process for him to go through, but he and Kristin are really excited to come to Nebraska.”
"First and foremost I would like to thank Coach Cook for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of this historic program," Hildebrand said in a news release. "And my wife and I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome that we have felt so far throughout this process. I'm incredibly excited and honored to join the Husker family and help continue the storied tradition and success of Nebraska volleyball. Getting to know Coach Cook over the past few weeks has given me insight into his exceptional character and leadership qualities.”
A standout student-athlete at Long Beach State, Hildebrand was a four-year starting setter from 2003-06. He was a three-time AVCA and Volleyball Magazine first-team All-America selection. Hildebrand graduated from Long Beach State with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2006.