Blanken Accepts New Position, Resigns as Mustang Volleyball Head Coach
March 24, 2014
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Bobby Blanken, four-year head coach of The Master’s College volleyball program, has resigned from his position in order to serve as the First Assistant on the women’s volleyball coaching staff at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. Blanken will also teach in the Kinesiology Department at the institution, which is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, situated in Division II of the NCAA.
“I cherish my experience at The Master’s College and have very much enjoyed my time here,” commented Blanken. “To have the opportunity I have now is exciting, but The Master’s College is a unique community as the athletic department holds a special camaraderie and brotherhood. We can ask how each other is doing, knowing that there’s a genuine sincerity behind the question. From the Athletic Director and his support staff to the various coaches, there’s an open door policy here at the college that is priceless.”
In his four years at the helm of the Lady Mustangs’ volleyball team, Blanken amassed an overall win-loss record of 87-56, including 27-39 in the Golden State Athletic Conference - one of the NAIA’s elite volleyball conferences placing multiple teams in the Top 10 nationally. However, he emphasizes, “More importantly, the opportunity to help disciple (and mentor) teams over the last four years has helped me to grow as a man, a father, and a husband. I am confident that the college has helped to prepare me for what’s next.”
Blanken was named the Golden State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 and was also recognized as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) West Region Coach of the Year during the same season.
Blanken helped to turn around a program that won just a third of its games in the year preceding his arrival. He guided the Lady Mustangs to their first-ever appearance at the NAIA National Tournament in 2012, and followed with a second consecutive showing in 2013 where the squad made it to the tournament’s quarterfinal round.
In the last two years, the Lady Mustangs have maintained a presence in the NAIA’s Top 25, most recently being ranked sixth in the country on December 11, 2013. The success of the Volleyball program has contributed to Athletic Department’s all-sports ranking as the NAIA’s 7th best Athletic program at the end of the Fall 2013 season.
“The biggest takeaway I have with working at the college is to value and cherish relationships,” said Blanken. “We often get caught up with results in athletics, but what always remains are the relationships you’ve cultivated. While this experience is over, I’ll always remember the relationships planted here at The Master’s College.”
Blanken, a graduate of Missouri Western State University, is currently in the process of completing his master’s degree in Kinesiology through Fresno Pacific University. He and his wife, Sara, have three children: Isabelle (8), Thomas (5), and Elise (1).
The Lady Mustangs have already begun preparations for the 2014 fall campaign. Assistant Coaches Sean Carter and Sarah Oskam have been placed in charge of the team in the interim. Athletic Director Steve Waldeck has confirmed that the search for the next leader of the volleyball program is already underway.