Hulsmeyer, who was named the third head coach in the history of the Purdue volleyball program May 25, 1999, looks to lay the foundation that will allow the Boilermakers to ascend the Big Ten ranks.
?I think over the next season we will see the fruits of the labors that this team has put in,? Hulsmeyer said. ?We have not only attempted to build a program that will be competitive in the Big Ten, but one that will be stable as we move to the upper levels of the conference.?
Hulsmeyer has built a winning tradition in his own right, a fact proven by his 192-126 record in nine years as a head coach.
In his inaugural season in West Lafayette, he led the Boilermakers to a 15-14 mark, the most victories since the 1993 season, as well as six straight non-conference wins, the most consecutive victories since 1990. Under Hulsmeyer, the squad knocked off No. 18 Michigan and No. 23 Illinois, and recorded the 17th highest attendance figures in the nation (1,281 per match) including a Purdue record crowd of 2,076 for the Penn State matchup.
The following year, Hulsmeyer?s squad knocked off No. 25 Michigan 3-1, tallied the school?s first victory over Illinois at Huff Hall and regained the Monon Spike in a 3-2 victory over cross-state rival Indiana. In 2001, the Boilermakers claimed victories over IUPUI, Iowa, Valparaiso and Indiana State, and earned the President?s Cup Award, which is given to the varsity team at Purdue with the highest cumulative GPA. All told, during his tenure with the Boilermakers, 16 student-athletes have received Academic Big Ten honors, while one player earned Verizon Academic All-District V accolades.
Purdue has also seen Hulsmeyer?s recruiting skills in action. The incoming 2002 class was ranked No. 11 in the nation, and includes two All-Americans.
?Being at Purdue means being at the top,? Hulsmeyer said. ?Purdue is one of the elite programs in the nation, and all the pieces of the puzzle for success are here. Purdue enjoys success not only on the court, but off the court as well.? The 1988 Kentucky grad came to Purdue from the University of Illinois, where he served as an assistant coach from 1996 to 1998. While in Champaign, his duties included recruiting, scouting and on-court instruction, and he was integral in leading the Fighting Illini to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a final national ranking of No. 14 in 1998. Hulsmeyer used his recruiting skills to bring in several ?Fab 50? players to the Illinois squad.
From 1993 to 1995 Hulsmeyer held the reins at Arkansas State, a member of the Sun Belt Conference. He guided the Lady Indians to two NCAA Tournament appearances and three Sun Belt titles while posting a record of 85-27. Two of his players at ASU were named Sun Belt Conference Players of the Year, while Hulsmeyer was named Conference Coach of the Year in 1994.
The Louisville, Ky., native began his head coaching career at Western Kentucky after serving as an assistant with the program for one year. He guided the Lady Hilltoppers from 1990 to 1992, helping them to a 75-42 record. In his first season in Bowling Green, Hulsmeyer led Western to a 32-9 record while earning himself Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors. Both his 1990 and 1991 teams finished as conference runners-up.
Hulsmeyer got his start in coaching as a volunteer with Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., in 1986. He then served as head coach of the University of Kentucky men?s club team from 1987 to 1988.
The success of the Boilermakers can be attributed to the players and coaching staff as well as to the many people who comprise the Purdue volleyball family, Hulsmeyer said.
?This is such an outstanding opportunity to be at Purdue and to be around the quality individuals that surround this program,? Hulsmeyer said. ?It is truly a team effort here, from our equipment manager, to the game management people to our full-time strength and conditioning coach and athletic trainer. A lot of people provide us with the opportunity to be successful here, and they treat the sport as it should be treated, giving us the opportunity to not only compete at the highest level, but to win.?
Hulsmeyer, 36, graduated from Kentucky in 1988 with a degree in political science. He has been very active in community affairs as a volunteer with several organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the YWCA. Jeff and his wife, Michelle, reside in West Lafayette with their two sons, Zachery (3) and Ben (1).