NORMAN — University of Oklahoma Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione announced the hiring of Lindsey Gray-Walton as the head coach of the Sooners’ volleyball program on Sunday.
Gray-Walton spent the last eight seasons on Craig Skinner’s staff at Kentucky as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. At this year’s NCAA Final Four in Kansas City, she was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year. Gray-Walton was recognized by the AVCA in 2012 as one of the “Top 30 Coaches Under 30.”
“Our nationwide search identified some outstanding emerging leaders in women’s volleyball,” stated Castiglione. “We’re thrilled to introduce Lindsey Gray-Walton to our Sooner family. She’s highly respected and lauded throughout the profession. She possesses a very impressive background as a student-athlete, assistant coach, recruiter, teacher and motivator, along with a great vision to build our program as an extension of our culture of Sooner Magic. We’re confident she’s the right person at the right time to lead Oklahoma volleyball and look forward to welcoming her husband, Kyle, and daughter, Berkley, to campus.”
All seven of Gray-Walton’s recruiting classes at Kentucky have ranked in the top 25 in the nation, according to PrepVolleyball. The Wildcats’ 2017 class was ranked fifth in the country, included SEC Freshman of the Year and second-team All-American Madison Lilley, and ultimately helped UK achieve the No. 4 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, as well as a spot in the Elite Eight.
“I am extremely excited and humbled to be named the next head coach for Oklahoma volleyball, and am forever grateful for the mentors and teams I have had the privilege of coaching that have helped provide for an opportunity like this,” said Gray-Walton. “It is easy to see why Oklahoma is a powerhouse in college athletics. OU has a great leader in Joe Castiglione, followed by quality people who have committed to becoming elite. My family and I are excited to get to Norman and get to work. Boomer Sooner!”
The Oklahoma City-born Gray-Walton helped Kentucky to eight postseason appearances during her time in Lexington. From 2010-17, the Wildcats went 189-67 and posted a program-best 29-3 mark in 2017 during that stretch. Working with Kentucky’s back row passers and outside hitters, Gray-Walton oversaw the development of three-time SEC Libero of the Year Ashley Dusek, and helped individual Wildcats earn 20 AVCA All-America honors.
“Lindsey has done a great job for Kentucky volleyball the last eight years; leaving her mark on the program,” added Skinner. “She is one of the most talented up-and-coming coaches in our profession and will do a fantastic job leading OU.”
Prior to joining Kentucky’s staff, Gray-Walton was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the College of Charleston in 2009. She helped the Cougars to the Southern Conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament with an 18-13 overall record.
Gray-Walton is a 2008 graduate of Georgia Tech, where she earned All-ACC honors as a player. The Yellow Jackets won 20 or more matches three times in her career, and posted a 27-7 overall mark on a perfect 16-0 season in ACC play her freshman year.
Raised in Olathe, Kan., Gray-Walton earned her Bachelor of Science degree in management at Georgia Tech with certificates in marketing and management. In May 2012, she married Kyle Walton, who is the head women’s volleyball coach at Transylvania University in Lexington. They have one daughter, Berkley.