ELON, N.C. – Elon head volleyball coach Mary Tendler has announced the hiring of Karlis Dunens as an assistant coach for the Phoenix program. A 2006 graduate of Texas A&M University, Dunens comes to Elon after serving as a volunteer assistant at the University of Memphis.
“I would like to thank Coach Tendler, Dave Blank and the senior administration for this amazing opportunity to be a part of the Elon family,” said Dunens. “There is a lot of momentum and optimism around the program and I’m extremely excited to compete alongside such a devoted and invested group. I am eager to work with Coach Tendler, Coach Readling, the volleyball support staff and our student-athletes towards post-season level success.”
During the 2015 season, Dunens served as a volunteer assistant coach at Memphis, helping the team to a 19-14 overall record. While with the Tigers, he was responsible for training the middle blockers, coordinating blocking schemes and strategies and scouting opposing offenses.
“I’m excited for Karlis to join our coaching staff,” said Tendler. “He has the experience of working with a variety of successful collegiate teams throughout his career. His main focus will be to work with our defense and to help develop scouting reports, which he has exceled at in his previous positions. Karlis is very knowledgeable and passionate about the sport of volleyball. I am confident that he will be a great addition to our staff.”
Prior to Memphis, Dunens was an assistant volleyball coach at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, from 2011-15. He trained five all-America selections and 11 all-conference selections while with the Pirates, coaching the team to the NCAA DIII first round in 2011 and 2012 and to the second round in 2013. The Pirates went a combined 107-37 in his four years as an assistant.
Dunens spent the 2011 season as an assistant coach at the University of Houston, helping coach the team to a 19-13 record, which was a 10-win improvement from the previous season. That season UH had two players earn first team all-conference honors. With the Cougars, he helped train players during practices and served as the team’s video, travel and camp coordinator.
Dunens moved to Houston after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Jacksonville State. In 2009, he helped guide the Gamecocks to a 27-8 record, an Ohio Valley Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Championships, while five members of the squad earned postseason honors. During his two seasons with the Gamecocks, Dunens also planned and organized the program’s volleyball camps.
Prior to Jacksonville State, Dunens was a manager and volunteer assistant coach at Texas A&M from 2006-2008. With the Aggies, he assisted with drills during practice and was in charge of the team and scouting videos.
Dunens played volleyball as a member of the Texas A&M club team, before serving as the coach from 2006-2008. In addition, he was the women’s volleyball club coach from 2003-2005.
A native of Houston, Dunens graduated from A&M with a Bachelor of Science in electronics engineering technology.
Along with the addition of Dunens, Tina Readling has been promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach.