Ricci Luyties enters his sixth season as head volleyball coach at Southern Miss.
Luyties continues to make strides in the Southern Miss program, producing a plus-four turnaround to finish with a 17-13 record on his way to his first winning season. The team garnered a conference award when Lauren Sears received all-freshman honors.
In 2006, the team turned the proverbial corner in building a solid foundation, finishing the 2006 season with a plus-nine improvement in the win column.
Even though the results of the past seasons have not been to Luyties' satisfaction, his commitment, drive and never say-die attitude continue to be his priorities in getting the Southern Miss volleyball program on the winning track.
Before taking the reigns at Southern Miss, Luyties served as an assistant coach at Colorado for three seasons, where he coached the right and left sides for the Buffaloes. During his tenure at Colorado, the Buffs played in the NCAA Tournament two of his three seasons there.
Prior to Colorado, Luyties was the head coach of the La Jolla (Calif.) High School boys and girls varsity and junior varsity programs. He was also the head coach of the Coast Volleyball Club Girls 16's team. He has coached preps for the Wind N' Sea Volleyball Club (1998-99) and the San Diego Volleyball boys 17's and Girls 15's and 16's Club (1995-98).
Luyties brings an impressive resume of playing experience on both the collegiate and the professional levels that included wins in seven pro beach volleyball events. He has played regularly on both the AVP and FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tours since 1989. Luyties' professional career has spanned more than 12 years and includes titles with Karch Kiraly, one of the top players in professional beach volleyball history. He also teamed with Adam Johnson to pick up the 1991 U.S. Championship.
Luyties also has enjoyed success in the world championship level, winning Olympic Gold with the USA National team in 1988, playing alongside Kiraly and Steve Timmons. He also won gold as a member of the 1983 U.S. National Team in the Pan American Games.
A 1985 graduate of UCLA, Luyties was one of the most decorated setters in the NCAA history. He was inducted into the Bruins' Hall of Fame in 1995, where he was a member of the men's volleyball team that won four NCAA Division I Men's Volleyball titles from 1981-84, two undefeated seasons, a 126-7 career record and four all-conference selections.
He was a two-time All-American and a two-time NCAA Most Valuable Player, earning those honors in 1983 and 1984. Luyties was the first men's player in the NCAA history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year honors. His jersey (No. 11) was retired a year after his Hall of Fame induction. He received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1985.
Luyties is married to the former Lorrie Remus, and the couple has two children, Chloe, 10, and Lia, 7.