The Marquette volleyball coaching staff looks different than you last remember it. With practices starting on Monday for the team’s trip to Eastern Europe at the start of June, head coach Ryan Theis will have an extra set of eyes and ears around the team in addition to a familiar face with a new role. Former Carthage College head men’s volleyball coach LJ Marx has joined the Marquette staff as an assistant coach, while Adam Campbell has been promoted from volunteer assistant coach to technical coordinator.
“We were lucky to have a two-time national coach of the year locally who was excited to join our program,” Theis said. “LJ founded the men’s program at Carthage and took them to seven national semifinal appearances in 15 years. I’ve watched his teams train and play over the last decade and think he is a terrific coach.”
“Adam is a great up-and-coming young coach looking to grow in the statistical and video side of things,” Theis said. “We are excited to have him around for another season and we will benefit from his experience with our staff and student-athletes.”
Marx went 318-131 in 15 seasons at Carthage College down in Kenosha after starting the program from scrach in 2005, including 13 conference regular season titles, six conference tournament titles, and five NCAA Division 3 tournament appearances after the tournament was first held in 2012. He won two AVCA Division 3 Coach of the Year awards in his time at Carthage and also coached two AVCA Players of the Year, three AVCA Newcomers of the Year, and 39 All-Americans.
So, yeah, I’m thinking he knows some things about how to coach some volleyball.
The interesting part about the addition here is that Marx is joining Abby Gilleland and Ryan Walthall on the staff as assistant coaches. For as long as I’ve been paying attention to the squad, there have only ever been two people with the job title of “assistant coach.” I don’t know how all of this squares with NCAA rules on coaching staff sizes and roles and so on, but the fact of the matter is that there’s no other way to read this than Marquette is investing in volleyball. That fits right along side with things like inking Theis to a new contract extension this past December, keeping the McGuire Center available to the team to host the first rounds of the NCAA tournament, and booking Fiserv Forum for a match against Wisconsin this coming September. Staying good at volleyball and getting better appears to be a notable commitment from the university and the athletic department.
The same commitment can be read into Campbell’s promotion to technical director. At least on a year-to-year basis, that’s a new job title on the staff, as MU did not have a technical director in the fall of 2022. Last season was Campbell’s first with Marquette as a volunteer assistant coach, and it’s easy to read bringing him aboard as a full time employee as ensuring that what he brought to the table as Marquette won a second straight Big East regular season title and reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history stayed at the McGuire Center going forward. That’s the kind of thing you do when you’re trying to win a third straight Big East title and just the fourth conference championship in program history.
Marquette will be in Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic from June 5th through June 16th. After that, the team will reconvene on campus in August to prepare for a 2023 campaign that has one of if not the toughest non-conference schedule in program history. The season will start with five straight road matches, including a Day 1 doubleheader in Dayton, Ohio, against Western Kentucky and Drake on Friday, August 25th.