GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota head volleyball coach Mark Pryor announced the addition of John Yunker to his coaching staff on Thursday.
Yunker came to UND after successful head coaching stints at Champlin Park and St. Michael-Albertville High Schools, in addition to collegiate assistant coaching posts at Northwest Missouri State, Augsburg College, and Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“John is a proven coach and trainer both at the high school and elite club levels, so that is always a plus when you can add that to the gym,” said Pryor. “Hiring someone with so many coaching contacts in the region is only going to be a benefit to us. As we continue to get better and better, it is going to be increasingly necessary to have a better network of contacts than other regional universities. That network will give us an advantage in finding that ‘hidden talent’ within the region. I am certain that John is the right hire for this program at this time in our continued growth.
“We always talk about how our players and staff can each add value to this program,” continued Pryor, “and I know that John definitely brings a lot of that to UND volleyball.”
Yunker has compiled a head-coaching record of 227-86 (.725) over 10 seasons and is a three-time section coach of the year (2008, 2014, 2016). He has led his teams to five section championships and a pair of section finalists. He's guided teams to four different top-five finishes in the state as well as accumulating seven conference titles.
“I want to thank Coach Pryor for this opportunity,” said Yunker. “The University of North Dakota’s academics, facilities, athletics, and many other aspects of the University make this a great opportunity. I am very excited to be a part of the University of North Dakota and to be a Fighting Hawk.”
Yunker had six players named to the all-tournament team at the Class AAA State tourney. At the club level, his teams produced three AAU Nationals All-Americans, finishing third and fifth in the AAU Nationals Open Division.
He joins a North Dakota team that won the Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles en route to its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth. UND (26-10 last season) loses just one senior from that team and returns three all-Big Sky players (Faith Dooley, Tamara Merseli, Sydney Griffin) and the program's first honorable mention All-America honoree (Griffin).