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Apr 13, 2004

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BOULDER - University of Colorado assistant volleyball coach Ricci Luyties was named the head volleyball coach at the University of Southern Mississippi on Tuesday.

Luyties, who will be the eighth head coach in the history of the Southern Miss volleyball program, spent the last three seasons as a CU assistant. During his time in Boulder, he helped guide the Buffaloes to a 55-36 overall record and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

"My time here has been fantastic," Luyties said. "I have nothing but good memories of CU. The players have been so much fun to work with and (head coach) Pi'i (Aiu) has been great to work for. It was a hard decision to make.

"It has been my dream to be a head coach and you have to take advantage of these opportunities when they come."


Luyties plans to remain with the Buffaloes through the remainder of the spring season and then head to Southern Miss to begin his new position in June. CU is currently in the middle of spring practice and will travel to tournaments in Bakersfield, Calif., and Milwaukee, Wis., in the next two weeks.


Located in Hattiesburg, Miss., Southern Miss is a member of Conference USA. The Golden Eagles were 27-6 overall in 2003, finishing third in Conference USA with an 11-2 mark.

"We are really going to miss Ricci," CU head coach Pi'i Aiu said. "He did an amazing job for us and our program. He was a mentor and a wonderful coach to our players and I think it is going to be a hard loss for us."


The Colorado volleyball staff plans to conduct a national search for a replacement as soon as possible.