CARBONDALE — Justin Ingram, who took SIU's volleyball team to its first NCAA Tournament berth in school history in 2015, was named the new coach at Illinois-Chicago Tuesday, pending board of trustees approval.
Ingram went 101-59 (.631) in five seasons as SIU's head coach, including a 60-30 (.667) record in conference play. The Salukis posted four 20-plus win seasons under Ingram, who was named the 2015 Missouri Valley Conference coach of the year.
"Justin raised the bar for Saluki volleyball and proved you can build a successful program at SIU," SIU athletic director Tommy Bell said in a statement Tuesday. "We're grateful for what he accomplished here, we wish him well in his new opportunity, and we expect to have a strong pool of interested candidates to build upon the foundation he laid."
Ingram became the seventh coach in Flames history. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're thrilled to be able to bring in an outstanding coach of Justin's caliber," UIC athletic director Jim Schmidt said. "He has been a proven winner in every step of his coaching journey and I am confident that he will continue that tradition here at UIC. He is eager to hit the ground running and elevate the volleyball program to the next level."
UIC went 16-14 last season, including 4-12 in the Horizon League. Ingram replaces Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who left after eight seasons to take over Penn's program.
"First, I would like to thank athletic director Jim Schmidt for this incredible opportunity to be the next head volleyball coach at UIC," Ingram said. "Being able to live and work in one of the greatest cities in the world is beyond exciting. From the minute I met with Jim and executive associate athletic director Richard Grinage, I could see their vision for the program and wanted to be a part of it. High schools and clubs in Chicagoland produce some of the best volleyball players in the country and I'm looking forward to getting started."
The Salukis made the MVC tournament in each of Ingram's five seasons, reaching the title game in 2013. Prior to his arrival in 2012, the Salukis had made the Valley tournament only six times since 1993. In 2016, Ingram became the fastest head coach in program history to reach 100 wins, doing so in just 156 matches.
"I'd like to thank athletic director Tommy Bell for the continued support of our staff, team and high-achieving goals both on and off the court," Ingram said. "The success within Saluki volleyball is a product of incredible work performed by our student-athletes, past and present, along with the mentoring provided by former assistant coach Todd Nelson. I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of Saluki athletics and Saluki volleyball."
Ingram came to SIU after spending three seasons as the head coach at Arkansas State, where he posted a 60-33 record and was named the 2011 Sun Belt coach of the year.
The Salukis finished 21-12 overall and 12-6 in the Valley last year (fourth place). Without two starters, who were injured, SIU fell to Illinois State at the MVC tournament. The Salukis could return four starters, as well as one of their top liberos, Ashley Edelen, this season.
A nationwide search for Ingram's replacement will begin immediately, Bell said.
On Twitter: @THefferman
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