Men's Volleyball Staff
HEad Coach : Mark Hulse
Mark Hulse, a native of Evanston, Ill., enters his fifth season as the head men’s volleyball coach at Loyola University Chicago after serving as an assistant coach for the previous four years.
In four seasons at the helm of the Loyola program, Hulse has guided the Ramblers to 80 wins, including 31 victories over nationally ranked opponents. He has produced eight All-Americans, including two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) First Team All-America selection Jeff Jendryk, who is the first player in Rambler history and just the 12thin NCAA Division I-II annals to be a first or second team selection four times in his career.
Under Hulse's tutelage in 2019, Loyola notched at least 20 wins for the sixth time in the last seven years, going 21-8 overall and 12-2 in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) action to finish second in the league race.The Ramblers finished the year ranked No. 9 in the AVCA Division I-II Poll, making this the seventh time in the last eight years Loyola has found itself in the top 10 in the season-ending poll. His club racked up seven victories against nationally ranked foes, including a five-set thriller over No. 5 and eventual NCAA semifinalist Pepperdine on Jan. 18. Highlighted by Collin Mahan being named AVCA Second Team All-America, three other players earned AVCA All-America recognition.
The 2018 campaign was a bounceback season for the Ramblers as they improved seven games in the win column, going 23-7 overall, en route to a No. 7 final ranking in the AVCA Division I-II Poll. Hulse steered Loyola to a share of the MIVA regular season title, the program’s first since 2014. After guiding the Ramblers to 13 wins over nationally ranked opponents, producing four first-team all-conference selections as well as three AVCA All-Americans, Hulse was named MIVA Coach of the Year. Off the court, 12 Ramblers were named to the MIVA Academic All-Conference Team.
Hulse piloted the Ramblers to a 20-8 overall record in his first season as head coach in 2016, giving Loyola its fourth straight 20-win campaign. The 2017 outfit produced 16 wins and finished the season ranked No. 14 in the AVCA Division I-II Poll, marking the 18thtime in program history that Loyola was ranked in the season-ending poll.
Thomas Jaeschke, a former pupil of Hulse’s and a two-time All-American, became the first Loyola student-athlete ever to earn an Olympic medal when he helped the U.S. National Team win bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and both Jaeschke and Jendryk competed for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the Volleyball Nations League in 2018 and FIVB World League play in 2017.
During his time as an assistant coach in Rogers Park, Hulse helped guide Loyola to two NCAA titles, three Final Four appearances and three MIVA Championships. He coached six AVCA All-Americans (Joseph Smalzer, Thomas Jaeschke, Cody Caldwell, Nicholas Olson, Peter Hutz and Jeff Jendryk) and mentored both the 2015 AVCA National Player of the Year (Jaeschke) and 2015 AVCA Newcomer of the Year (Jendryk).
In April 2014, Hulse was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Assistant Coach of the Year after guiding the Ramblers to their second straight NCAA Final Four appearance. One month earlier, he was a recipient of the AVCA Thirty Under 30 award, an honor bestowed upon 30 up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years old at all levels of the game.
A force at the net, he was a starting middle blocker and a key contributor on Pepperdine's 2008 squad that finished as NCAA Runner-Up, losing to Penn State in the national championship match.
He graduated from Pepperdine in 2009 with a degree in political science.
Hulse and his wife, Amanda, reside in Evanston, with their daughter, Leighton, and son, Max.
Associate Head COach: Matt McCarthy
Matt McCarthy, who spent the previous nine seasons on the men’s volleyball staff at Lewis, was named associate head coach at Loyola University Chicago on June 4, 2018. In nine years at Lewis, the Wheaton native helped the Flyers to 196 victories, six 20-win seasons and three trips to the NCAA tournament.
“Matt has proven to be one of the best coaches in our game and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on our staff,” Loyola head coach Mark Hulse said about the hire. “He’s found success both as a coach and as a player and he has a true passion to learn, innovate and develop young men and volleyball players in a mission-driven environment.”
One of the top young coaches in the sport, McCarthy, who in 2015 was hailed as the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Assistant Coach of the Year, has helped develop 22 AVCA All-America selections and 41 All-Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association student-athletes. In 2015, he played a key role in piloting Lewis to the NCAA championship match before falling to Loyola in an epic five-set thriller. With McCarthy on staff, Lewis never won fewer than 19 contests in a season and claimed at least a share of the MIVA regular season crown on three occasions.
McCarthy graduated from Ball State, where he starred on the Cardinals squad, in 2009. The middle attacker was a two-time All-MIVA selection, twice ranking in the top ten in the nation in hitting percentage.
Assistant Coach: Connor Wexter
Connor Wexter will begin his fifth season as an assistant coach at Loyola University Chicago in 2020. Prior to his current post on Mark Hulse’s staff at Loyola, the New Lenox, Ill., native spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Carthage, where he also had a standout career as a player.
In four seasons in Rogers Park, Wexter has helped the Ramblers to 80 victories, four winning seasons, and in 2018, played a key role as Loyola claimed a share of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) regular season title and finished the year ranked No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Poll. Loyola’s 23 wins were its most since capturing 28 victories en route to the second of back-to-back NCAA championships in 2015.
Wexter has also served as a coach for USA Volleyball, working for Future Select A1 at the High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and for A3 in suburban Vernon Hills, Ill. During the summer of 2018, he will coach Youth A1 at High Performance Championships in Tulsa, Okla., and again work with Select A3 in Vernon Hills.
Wexter was a four-year starter at Carthage, racking up AVCA All-America honors each season, including three first-team selections. In 2011, he became the program's second-ever AVCA NCAA Division III Newcomer of the Year, and in 2013 was named the Continental Volleyball Conference Player of the Year. Wexter graduated as the program's all-time leader in assists.
A 2014 graduate of Carthage College, Wexter also earned a Master's of Education degree from Carthage in 2016.