LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates College has appointed former Bowdoin standout, Connecticut College assistant and Andrew College head coach Margo Linton as the 11th head coach in the 45-year history of its varsity women's volleyball team, Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh announced today.
Linton succeeds Brett Allen, who has coached Bates' volleyball team since the 2004 season and remains the head coach of the Bobcats' women's lacrosse team. Bates approved the splitting of the head volleyball and women's lacrosse coaching positions this spring and immediately began the search for a new volleyball coach.
"I am most pleased to welcome Margo to Bates as the leader of our proud volleyball program," said McHugh. "The search committee did an excellent job, and was unanimously in favor of her selection. They and I firmly believe that the combination of Margo's playing and coaching background; her extensive recruiting experience and intimate knowledge of the NESCAC, as both a player and a coach; and her general volleyball knowledge and commitment to the sport make her the clear choice to lead the program."
A 2008 graduate of Bowdoin, where she set career records in assists and service aces, Linton has spent the past year as the first head volleyball coach at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga., a program she started and developed while also coaching the Columbus Juniors Volleyball Club's 18 and under team this past winter and spring.
In the two years prior, she served as assistant coach at Connecticut College, helping the Camels finish 18-12 in 2008, followed by a 22-6 season in 2009, including an 8-2 conference record that tied the team for first place in the NESCAC in the regular season. At Bowdoin, Linton was named the Polar Bears' Rookie of the Year in the 2004 season, won four varsity letters as a setter, and served as the team's co-captain in the 2007 season. She remains Bowdoin's career leader in assists (3,215) and aces (191).
After earning her bachelor's degree as a mathematics major and teaching minor at Bowdoin, Linton received a master's degree in secondary education at Eastern Connecticut State University in 2010.
Bates has a proud volleyball tradition, with a 865-405-1 record over 44 seasons. The Bobcats won the first of four ECAC championships in 1989 with a 36-0 record under then head coach Marsha Graef, who is now Assistant Director of Athletics at Bates, and has since made two NCAA tournament appearances. The Bobcats finished 7-20 in the 2010 season but graduated only one player and returns a strong core, led by rising senior Chrissy Gee (San Francisco, Calif.) and including junior Eliza Pyne (Atherton, Calif.), junior Nicole Russell (Boca Raton, Fla.) and junior Caroline Gattuso (North Reading, Mass.).
"Everything I've gathered about the team indicates to me that the players at Bates are extremely committed and motivated student-athletes," said Linton. "I am excited to work with them and look forward to taking the team back to the NESCAC tournament; I know that the team has the potential to go deep into the tournament and become a top-ranked team in New England. I can't wait to get on the court to start working towards those goals."