BELTON, Texas — Long-time Division I Head Coach Mark Pryor is the new head coach of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor volleyball program. Pryor’s hire was announced by UMHB Vice-President for Athletics Randy Mann on Thursday (April 25th).
Pryor comes to Mary Hardin-Baylor after a successful five-year run as the Head Volleyball Coach at the University of North Dakota. He led the Fighting Hawks to a 117-58 record, two Big Sky Conference Tournament Championships and a Big Sky Conference regular season title. Pryor also guided UND to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and was named Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2016. Pryor has also been a head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce, Louisiana-Monroe and Southwest Baptist University. He won Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year honors at TAMU-Commerce in 2009 and earned Southland Conference Coach of the Year honors at ULM following the 2005 season. Pryor has an overall head coaching record of 182-152.
“We are very pleased to be able to hire a coach with Mark Pryor’s experience and resume to lead our volleyball program,” Mann said. “He has a great track record of recruiting and developing talented players and we look forward to continued success with Cru volleyball.”
“UMHB was a position that I have had my eye on for over a decade,” Pryor said. “The opportunity to coach and teach in a Christ centered environment, all the while being close to family and old friends was just too good to pass on. Former coach Rob Frost did an amazing job here, making this position even more attractive. Following his success will be a great challenge, but I am looking forward to it.”
Pryor also served as Head Coach at North Central Texas College and has made Division I assistant coaching stops at Baylor University (2010-14), Boise State University (2003-04) and New Mexico State (1999). Pryor also spent one year working with USA Volleyball. He has trained three All-Americans, three conference Liberos of the Year, a conference MVP and three NCAA statistical national champions during his career. Pryor has recruited three top 20 ranked recruiting classes during his time at Baylor.
Pryor graduated from Baylor University in 1995 with degrees in Speech Communication and Journalism. He earned a Master of Arts in Communication from Louisiana-Monroe in 1998. Pryor and his wife, Amanda, have two sons.
“My wife Amanda, and my sons Myles and Mason, are really excited to be heading back to Texas,” Pryor said. “Reconnecting with family and old friends, reconnecting with our church at Harris Creek Baptist Church, making new friends in the community, and getting started with the university and the program.”
Pryor will inherit a team that returns all six starters, the starting libero and 11 letter winners. Cru volleyball won the American Southwest Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Sectional Finals last season. UMHB finished with a 28-5 record and was ranked 16th in the country in the AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll.