April 2, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – Kris Grunwald, who spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Auburn and was the Tigers’ head coach from 1998-99, has been named the head coach of the University of Connecticut volleyball team.
A native of Germantown, N.Y., Grunwald was an assistant coach at Auburn from 1994-97 then took over the head coaching reigns for two years. As an assistant coach, he led Auburn to an SEC Western Division championship in 1996.
In his two years back at Auburn as an assistant coach, the Tigers had a 17-13 mark in ’12 and was 19-11 in ’13. Auburn has had a winning record in all eight years that Grunwald had been on the Tiger staff.
“I am incredibly excited to become the head volleyball coach at UConn and I consider it an amazing opportunity,” said Grunwald. “I am looking forward to being part of this amazing University with its rich tradition in athletics and such a strong academic reputation. I think we have a very talented roster of current student-athletes in this program already and I look forward to getting to know them and develop their skills. As a native of the Northeast, I think this school and this program is a great fit for me.”
“I am very pleased to welcome Kris to our UConn family and am extremely excited about the direction of our volleyball program,” said UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “Kris brings a wide variety of collegiate athletics experience to our program, including many years of coaching the sport at the highest level. I believe that Kris will be an excellent mentor for both the athletic and academic success of our volleyball student-athletes.”
Grunwald returned to Auburn in 2012 after spending the previous four years as an assistant at Arkansas.
Under Grunwald's leadership as head coach, Auburn amassed a 41-20 record over two seasons, posting a 22-win campaign in 1998 and 19 wins the following season.
Grunwald was a three-time Honorable Mention All-American and three-time All-East First Team performer for the George Mason volleyball team (1988-91), which reached the national semifinals in 1988. In the George Mason career records book, he is second in kills (1,764), fourth in digs (676) and seventh in blocks (394).
He moved on to Florida State for his graduate work where he served as an assistant coach for three seasons (1991-93). He assumed a larger role as the recruiting coordinator when he joined the Auburn staff as an assistant in 1994.
Grunwald was the compliance service coordinator at Michigan from 2000-02, assisting with student-athlete certification, eligibility and NCAA rules interpretation.
He returned to coaching in 2002 as an assistant coach at Mississippi, a position he held through the 2005 season. From his spot with the Rebels, Grunwald became the associate head coach at Morehead State until accepting the position at Arkansas prior to the 2008 season.
Grunwald is a 1991 graduate of George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He earned his master's degree in mathematics education at Florida State in 1993.