Minnesota head coach Keegan Cook announced the addition of Crissy Jones Schoonderwoerd as the team’s new assistant coach.
Jones Schoonderwoerd spent the 2023 season at California as the team’s interim head coach after taking over two weeks before the regular season started. She was hired as assistant coach before the former head coach stepped down in July of 2023. Under her leadership, Cal earned its first winning record since 2019 (and its second in a decade), finishing the year at 16-15 (5-15 Pac-12) with an undefeated 11-0 non-conference record.
“Crissy Jones Schoonderwoerd has been a champion at every level and every discipline of the sport of volleyball,” head coach Keegan Cook said. “It was a privilege to coach an athlete of her character and competitive passion. She is the exact mentor and coach I was seeking in this hire. I’m looking forward to sharing Crissy with the Gopher volleyball community and I thank her and her family for joining the program.”
Jones Schoonderwoerd was recognized as a Volleyball Magazine College Coaching Hotshot. She helped several Bears achieve significant improvements, including All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention athletes Tara DeSa and Annalea Maeder. DeSa led the conference in both digs and digs per set, posting the fourth-most digs (513) in a single season in the program’s history, while Maeder tied for the 10th-most service aces (46) in Cal history while recording her first career 1,000-assist season. Both received All-Pac-12 honors for the first time in their careers.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Minnesota volleyball coaching staff,” Schoonderwoerd said. “I am eager to work with such talented athletes and coaches. I look forward to getting plugged in and building relationships with the entire Gopher volleyball family. It’s exciting to be a part of an incredible university with goals of competing for championships while providing an incredible student-athlete experience.”
Also at Cal, she guided freshman Maggie Li through a historic debut season in which she earned the program’s first AVCA Pacific West Region Freshman of the Year award and was the only freshman to also receive All-Region honors (Honorable Mention). Li was just the third freshman in program history to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Year status and was the only freshman to make the main All-Pac-12 Team. She was also named a Volleyball Magazine All-American Honorable Mention after the season, the first freshman in program history to earn that honor.
Jones Schoonderwoerd heads to Minnesota with a strong collegiate and professional résumé as a player. A native of Long Beach, Calif., she played for four years at Washington under Keegan Cook, earning an AVCA All-American nod as well as three All-Pac-12 honors. She helped the program appear in two Elite Eights.
She was later named an All-American while playing beach volleyball at Cal Poly as a graduate student, leading the team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and making her just the second player in NCAA history to earn All-American distinction in both indoor and beach volleyball. Post-graduation, she played for three years on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) beach volleyball tour, earning a Rookie of the Year nomination in 2019, while also playing on Team USA in the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) world beach volleyball tour.
“Having played for coach Cook and understanding his goals and values, I knew I wanted to be a part of what he is building at Minnesota alongside coach Kelsay and coach Mendes. I’m so grateful to coach Cook, Julie Manning and Mark Coyle for welcoming me on board. I can’t wait to get in the gym with this team,” she said.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)