Kevin Ulmer begins his fifth season as head coach for the Bemidji State Volleyball program in 2020.
In his fourth season at the helm of the Bemidji State Volleyball program, Ulmer guided the Beavers to a 7-21 record and the most wins since taking the reigns of the Beaver volleyball program in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation, the NSIC. The Beavers tied for 12th in the NSIC standings with a 4-16 league record in a season that they faced a ranked opponent in 17 of the team's 26 matches. In four seasons, he has compiled a 23-91 career record (.202). On Oct. 26, Ulmer guided the Beavers to a 3-1 victory over No. 8 Wayne State for the program's first win versus a top-25 team under his leadership. At the end of the season four members of the BSU volleyball team were named to the 2019 NSIC All-Academic Team including Becky Schroeder, Taylor Nier, Julie Touchett and Taylor Kot. Several BSU volleyball players broke team and conference records under Ulmer's guidance during the 2019 season. On Sept. 14, Becky Schroeder tied for fourth in the program's history after totaling 26 kills against No. 14 Wheeling. On Oct. 15, Julie Touchett broke the program and NSIC record after recording 14 blocks against No. 7 Minnesota Duluth and on Nov. 5, Emma Hallmann reached second on BSU's career digs list and ended the season with 1,429 career digs.
In his third season at Bemidji State, Ulmer led the Beavers to a 6-22 record in 2018 and a 3-17 record in league play. Bemidji State's most notable wins during the season came when they defeated University of Mary twice by scores of 3-1. Six members of the BSU Volleyball program were selected to the 2018 NSIC All-Academic Team during the season including Becka Cronin, Taylor Nier, Jessica Reega, Becky Schroeder, Madison Filipiak and Julie Touchett. In three seasons, Ulmer has compiled a 16-70 (.186) career record and is 11th in career wins at BSU.
In his second season at the helm of the Bemidji State volleyball program, Ulmer coached the Beavers to a 3-26 record in 2017 and 0-20 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action. Through his first two seasons, Ulmer has compiled a 10-48 (.172) record. Bemidji State had three members of its volleyball program named to the 2017 Fall Academic All-NSIC Team in Sami Leach, Jessica Reega and Julie Touchett.
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.