‘Culture change’: Former volleyball assistant returns to VCU as head coach

VCU head coach Tim Doyle during his days as the College of William and Mary head coach. Photo courtesy of VCU Athletics

Arrick Wilson, Sports Editor

Tim Doyle was once a coach on the sidelines assisting the head coach — now Doyle is at the helm as the new head coach of the black and gold, according to VCU Athletics.

During his tenure, Doyle helped transform the Rams into a premier team in the Atlantic 10. The team collected tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, according to VCU Athletics. Doyle said returning to Richmond from his previous coaching stint has been a great feeling.

“It’s the freakin’ best man, it’s a surreal moment for me,” Doyle said. “Having spent four years here and having the success that we did —  it’s about really giving back to VCU.” 

Doyle served as a VCU assistant coach from 2014-18, then accepted the head coaching job at the College of William and Mary. Doyle helped the Tribe record the most Colonial Athletic Association victories and advance to the league semifinals for the first time since 2009, according to VCU Athletics

William and Mary announced in 2020 the discontinuation of seven varsity sports due to financial concerns, including the women’s volleyball team, according to its website. Even though William and Mary reinstated the programs months later, Doyle said he was ​​thankful for the situation and it helped him grow. 

“Although it was extremely tough, I’m also grateful, because it prepared me for the complete unknown and the volatilities and times of the college sports landscape,” Doyle said. “I’m prepared for anything, and no matter what gets thrown at me, I’m pretty good at adapting and adjusting.”

The black and gold have not won a conference championship since 2017, according to VCU Athletics. Doyle said he is excited and eager to bring success back to Stuart C. Siegel Center at VCU. 

“I bring an awareness of how to build a really healthy, positive team culture that I’m really just pumped to do it here at VCU, and get us back to not just winning on the court, but having a true sisterhood,” Doyle said.

Former VCU head coach Jody Rogers stepped down before the beginning of last season. Rogers coached the black and gold for nine seasons and recorded 180 wins in her tenure, becoming the highest-winningest coach in program history, according to VCU Athletics

VCU assistant coach Kevin Maureen Campbell was named interim head coach upon Rogers’ departure. VCU redshirt sophomore middle Kylie Loftis said the experience improved the team personnel. 

“It was initially a culture change,” Loftis said. “I think chemistry-wise and culture-wise, we formed a better VCU volleyball team.”

VCU redshirt sophomore middle blocker Jasmine Knight said she is enthusiastic to have a new coach and eventually compete for a championship next season.

“I’m really excited for a new person to come in and see what he does,” Knight said. “We want to win a conference championship at the end of this.”

Loftis said having a detailed coach who enjoys the game of volleyball as much as she does is very important to her, and Doyle has those traits. 

“He is very methodical, very detailed, and you can tell that he just loves to coach. So I’m excited to play for someone who loves the game just as much as I do,” Loftis said.

Doyle is looking forward to fans of VCU becoming inspired by the volleyball team and representing the city they play for, he said.

“I’m excited for people to walk in and just sense that the players are there to inspire them,” Doyle said. “That’s what gives me goosebumps, is our players are gonna go out there and say ‘I’m performing not just for my jersey, but the people who are here watching me because we are Richmond at VCU.’”

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