Gray-Walton Rounds Out Inaugural Staff
NORMAN – University of Oklahoma head volleyball coach Lindsey Gray-Walton rolled out her coaching staff for the 2018 season on Monday afternoon. Jake Barreau and Megan Pendergast were hired as assistant coaches, Kyle Walton will serve as the team’s volunteer assistant and Virginia Pham enters her third season as director of operations.
“I’m thrilled to finalize our staff with the additions of Megan, Jake and Kyle,” stated Gray-Walton. “Each of them has deep championship roots and experiences that we will rely on in building a championship culture here with Oklahoma volleyball.
“While building our staff, it was important that we had a team of young and passionate individuals that could be great role models for our players. Megan, Jake and Kyle are some of the best up and coming coaches in the profession who have earned their opportunity while doing it the right way.”
Barreau was an assistant coach for the Missouri State Bears for four seasons after joining the program in 2014. He worked extensively with MSU’s defensive players, helping the Bears rank fifth nationally in total digs in 2015 and eighth in 2016. During Barreau’s tenure, the Bears accumulated 98 wins, three NCAA Tournament trips and the 2016 and 2017 MVC regular season title.
Barreau was a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 Award in 2016. This award is given annually to thirty up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years old in the sport at all levels of the game. In March 2017, Barreau also worked on the statistical crew at the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts.
Before joining the MSU staff, Barreau was a volunteer assistant for Wisconsin’s NCAA runner-up team for the 2013 season. Working for his alma mater, Barreau prepared scouting videos and assisted in practice drills. Barreau spent the spring of 2014 as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Chicago State before joining MSU.
Prior to reaching the collegiate coaching ranks, Barreau was the head girl’s volleyball coach at Monona Grove High school in Monona, Wis., for three years. As an undergraduate at Wisconsin, Barreau was extensively involved in the club volleyball programs.
A native of Portage, Wis., Barreau graduated from Wisconsin in 2013 with degrees in marketing and Spanish.
Pendergast was an assistant coach for the Tulsa Hurricane for four seasons after joining the program in 2014. In the 2017 fall season, Pendergast coached a Tulsa defense that finished second in the nation in team digs and third in digs per set, while leading the American Athletic Conference in both categories.
Pendergast spent one season as a student assistant coach at her alma mater Texas A&M before heading to Tulsa. She began her collegiate career at the University of Nebraska for two seasons before finishing with the Aggies.
In College Station, Pendergast recorded 400-plus digs in each of her two seasons. She posted 419 digs, which ranked 10th most in school history in her junior season. As a senior, Pendergast recorded 441 digs, tying for seventh place on the school's single-season digs list.
As a senior, Pendergast was named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week when she averaged 5.14 digs per set in two victories over Missouri and Alabama and added a career-high eight assists against the Tigers.
A native of League City, Texas, Pendergast graduated from Texas A&M in December 2013 with a degree in psychology.
Walton served as the head coach at Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. from 2014-17. Coaching in the Division III Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, he led the Pioneers to a 60-54 record over the last four seasons, including a 20-10 mark in 2017. Walton, who also spent his last year at Transylvania as the department’s assistant director of athletics for marketing, will work closely with the Sooners’ marketing, camp and club efforts that surround the program.
At the Division I level, Walton worked as an assistant coach for seven seasons at four institutions, including Southern Illinois, Saint Louis, Louisville and Kentucky. He also served as facility director and director of volleyball operations at Synergy Sports in Toledo, Ohio and cut his teeth coaching on the club circuit.
Walton graduated from Otterbein College in 2005 with a degree in sports management. He was part of the Cardinals’ 2002 men’s basketball Division III National Championship team.
Oklahoma Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione announced the hiring of Gray-Walton on Dec. 24, 2017. She became just the fifth head coach in the 45-year history of the program. Gray-Walton spent the last eight seasons at Kentucky and was named the 2017 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.