Kevin Ulmer begins his first season at the helm of the Bemidji State University volleyball program in 2016.
In his first season as head coach for the beavers the team finished with a 7-22 overall record and a 3-17 conference record. Under Ulmer's leadership two seniors, Jess Yost and Amanda Tronick, both finished their careers with over 1,000 kills. Yost also set a new program record for career kills with 3,381 and earned her first All-NSIC honor. The team was in the top half in the conference in blocking and had six players named on the 2016 Fall Academic All-NSIC Team.
Ulmer came to Bemidji State after serving as the head volleyball coach at Bethel College (Ind.) since 2012. He has led the Pilots to an overall record of 88-65 with a 47-27 mark in Crossroads League action and four straight seasons of at least .500 play. Ulmer’s teams have also earned a regular-season championship and a pair of conference tournament runner-up finishes in four seasons.
A first-time collegiate head coach, Ulmer inherited a .500 volleyball team in 2012. By the conclusion of his first season he had directed the Pilots to a 24-16 mark en route to the championship game of the league’s postseason tournament and a berth into the NCCAA National Tournament. The Pilots continued to break new ground in year two. The team went 27-14 overall with a 16-2 mark in Crossroads League play to clinch the league’s regular season title and a second straight berth into the NCCAA National Tournament.
While at Bethel, Ulmer’s teams have produced one NAIA All-American, three NCCAA All-Americans, two CoSIDA Academic All-America recipients, 12 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, 12 NCCAA Scholar-Athletes, two Crossroads League Setter of the Year recipients, 20 all-conference sections and 17 league players of the week awards to go with a 2012 NAIA Scholar Team Award.
Ulmer is also responsible for scheduling, maintenance and student employment for the Wiekamp Athletic Facility, Bethel’s athletics/wellness facility.
Prior to his time at Bethel College, Ulmer served as an assistant coach at Georgetown College (2011-12) in Georgetown, Ky., head coach of Chattanooga Christian School and DIG TO WIN Volleyball Club (2006-09) in Chattanooga, Ten. and head junior varsity coach/assistant varsity coach at MOC-FV High School in Orange City, Iowa.
A 2006 graduate of Northwestern College (Iowa), Ulmer earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health education. He earned a master’s degree in biomechanics and exercise physiology from the University of Kentucky in 2011 and held an internship position in the university’s strength and conditioning area. While at Kentucky, he also spent time working with the Wildcats’ volleyball team while completing his American Volleyball Coaches’ Association-recognized thesis on swing blocking.
Ulmer and his wife Kate, who served as his assistant coach at Bethel, have three daughters, Autumn and Hailey, and Elliette.