NDSU’s Eagle has landed. Kevin Dunn’s career has been highlighted by his tremendous work given first on the volleyball court and now on the sidelines. Coined “The Bald Eagle” during his playing days at Lindenwood Universty, Coach Dunn is ready to show NDSU he can be the right-hand man for head coach Kari Thompson and the Bison volleyball players. With stops in both Alabama and West Virginia under his belt, Dunn is ready for the challenges of the Summit League. His newest objective: to get the Bison volleyball team soaring to new heights.
Who is Kevin Dunn?
Coaching Title: Assistant Coach – Setter Training and Development
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Alma Mater: Lindenwood University (St. Charles, Mo.) Class of 2008
Major: Business Administration
2012- Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.)
2011- West Virginia University (Head Coach)
2009-10- University of Alabama (Assistant)
2008- Southern Arkansas University (Graduate Assistant)
2007- Lindenwood University (Student Assistant)
BI: When did it click for you that you wanted to be a college volleyball coach?
Kevin Dunn: “When I first got to college, I wanted to be a high school history teacher, but then I decided that wasn’t for me. I didn’t really know what I was going to do until I got the opportunity to coach the women’s team in college. I was an assistant coach on the girl’s side and then I was playing on the men’s side. I really liked working with those girls. I liked seeing them develop and progress past what they thought they could do. Those light bulb moments are really why I got into it. It’s a great job and you have to work hard, but it’s very fulfilling to see someone else work past what they expected and breaking down those barriers to get better.
BI: What were the deciding factors for you in making the decision to come to NDSU?
KD: “The main reason I came here was because of Kari. I really like the conversations I had volleyball-wise with her. The things that are most important to me are important to her. Things like making sure the athletes are treated right and we’re putting them into positions where they can succeed so it’s their best interest we are after. Secondly, the community is great. From what I saw, the support is huge here. The pictures of 1,200 people in the (Bentson Bunker) Fieldhouse and being loud is rare in college volleyball and having a facility that is pretty much to ourselves is cool. Having those things and volleyball being important to NDSU, to the student and to the Fargo community is not something that is found all over the place.”
BI: What’s one of the joys of working with Coach Kari Thompson?
KD: “The culture that Coach Thompson has created has been a really good one. She is very demanding because there are high expectations here. The expectations here are higher than any other place I have been. We’re expected to win. The culture that she has created is that we’re going to get better every day. We’re not going to take huge steps, some days will be baby steps, but she makes sure we’re going in the right direction.”
BI: What are you going to be able to bring to the Bison volleyball program?
KD: “I think the biggest thing I am going to be able to do is to continue what Kari has started and that’s the mindset — pushing to go forward. Winning the Summit League isn’t where we want to be. We want to be winning the Summit League, getting into the tournament, then from there we want to win tournament games and get to the Sweet Sixteen and eventually the Final Four. I think my mindset and how competitive I am and some of my experiences that I have had volleyball-wise can help us do that.”
BI: What has been your transition to moving to Fargo been like?
KD: “The transition has been great. Out of all the places I have been, it’s not about the place you’re in, it’s about the people that are there that make the place. … I was pleasantly surprised by the size of Fargo. I have never been to North Dakota before my interview. I was not expecting a place this big to be honest (laughs). But it’s great. I’m extremely happy and I’m meeting some very interesting people. … Even just going around town, all over the place there is Bison stuff. I have talked to some of the alumni about their experience here and the just reaffirm everything I see. It’s pretty evident when you enter Fargo that this is a great University and there’s a lot of pride.”