Former Tonganoxie High coach guides Washburn volleyball to appearance in national championship match
A former Tonganoxie High volleyball coach just led Washburn to its best season in school history.
Chris Herron, in his 20th season in Topeka, guided the Ichabods to the NCAA Division II national championship Saturday in Tampa, Fla.
WU competed with the University of Tampa in three hard-fought sets, but couldn’t pull away with any of them. The Spartans won the national championship, 3-0, after sweeping the best-of-five match 25-21, 26-24, 25-21.
Washburn, which was ranked No. 6, reached its first-ever national title match, finishing at 31-6 overall. WU also was 17-4 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play.
UT finished the season at 34-2 and won its fourth national title in school history. The Spartans also won titles in 2006, 2014 and 2018.
Tampa was ranked No. 9 heading into the championship.
Herron’s team reached the national semifinals in 2018. Tampa also defeated Washburn in the semifinals that year.
In 20 seasons, Herron has gone 562-113 overall and 271-65 against MIAA opponents. Before heading to Topeka, Herron coached three seasons in Atchison at Benedictine College, guiding the Ravens to a 75-29 mark.
Herron continued to teach at Tonganoxie while coaching at Benedictine. Before taking over at BC, he coached 13 season at THS, going 366-88 in 13 seasons. He led the team to four state tournament appearances. The Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association also named Tonganoxie its Program of the Year twice during Herron’s tenure, in 1989 and 1996. Before coming to THS, Herron coached one season at Golden City (Mo.) where he went 21-17.