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Nebraska volleyball practice, 4/6

Nebraska middle blocker Lauren Stivrins (left) listens to assistant coach Tyler Hildebrand during spring practice in April 2017 at the Devaney Sports Center.

Nebraska volleyball assistant coach Tyler Hildebrand is leaving after one year with the Huskers to take a job with USA Volleyball.

He’ll be the director of coaching for the beach national team program. The new position is designed to support U.S. beach national team athletes and their coaches as they strive for international and Olympic success.

Hildebrand was on the staff when the Huskers won Big Ten and national championships last season. He coached the middle blockers and coordinated the defense, while also helping to train the setters, the position he played professionally.

He also worked extensively with the Huskers’ beach volleyball team, which begins its season later this week. Hildebrand will stay with the Huskers until the end of the beach season.

Hildebrand’s wife, Kristin, also had a part-time role with the Huskers as volunteer director of volleyball operations.

“The 2017 season was an awesome season and one of the reasons why was because of Tyler and Kristin,” Nebraska coach John Cook said in a news release. “They really brought a lot to our team and had a major part in helping us win a Big Ten and a national championship. This new position is the only position that would take him away from Nebraska, and even though the timing isn’t great, we know he’ll do a great job with USA beach volleyball.”

With USA Volleyball, Hildebrand will lead in identifying and recruiting athletes for the beach national team. He will be based at the beach national team training center in Torrance, California.

“The beach national team director of coaching will be vital to the continued international success of USA Volleyball heading into Tokyo 2020 and beyond,” Sean Scott, director of beach national teams, said in a news release. “We are extremely honored and excited to have a coach of Tyler’s caliber in this new role and are looking forward to the wealth of knowledge and passion for the sport he will bring."

Before coming to Nebraska, Hildebrand coached the U.S. beach team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson and helped them qualify for the 2016 Olympics. He has also coached the beach teams of April Ross and Jen Kessy, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, and Emily Day and Summer Ross.

“Although I have been fortunate to have a diverse background in many different areas of volleyball, my heart and passion lies within beach volleyball," Hildebrand said in a news release. "I am excited to get to work with the USAV beach performance team.”

Before last season, Cook had to hire two new assistant coaches after Chris Tamas and Dani Busboom Kelly each left for head coaching jobs. Now he’ll hire another new coach.

“Just like a year ago, we’re going to go find the best coach we can for Nebraska volleyball,” Cook said. “We loved having Tyler here, but this is a really unique job for him with USA Volleyball and fits what he wants to do and where he wants to go in the coaching profession. When you hire great people, they’re going to have great opportunities, and this is a great opportunity for Tyler.”

Hildebrand said it will be bittersweet to leave Nebraska.

“We had a magical season, one that we will never forget,” Hildebrand said. “Coaching in Devaney is like nothing else in the world of volleyball. We have heavy hearts filled with memories that will never fade. We can't express enough how grateful we are for being able to be a part of this Husker family.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or bwagner@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.

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Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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