WKU coach Hudson on “dream” USA call-up 

Western Kentucky coach Travis Hudson says it is an “honor” to be asked to join USA Volleyball’s coach staff and work with the Collegiate National Team in California next week.

Hudson has been in charge at Western Kentucky for a quarter of a century, leading them to four Conference USA championships, and was named Coach of the Year twice in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s really reinvigorating for me,” said a delighted Hudson to BGDailyNews.com. “Having done this for 24 years and doing it all here at Western Kentucky, when I get to do something like that, I’m re-energised.”

He will assist the 28-member Collegiate squad who will train in the same facility as the U.S. Olympic team, which offers opportunities to work together with other members of Team USA.

“It’s a very collaborative week to 10 days,” Hudson insisted. “Every day our staffs will be sitting down together and to be able to share ideas and learn from the best in the world is something I’ll really relish.

“That dynamic is fun for me. It’s fun to be in a different setting of coaches. My staff has worked together so long that we know when, how and where we’re going to do everything.

“We’re all trying to better this program every day and this is a unique opportunity to do that.”

Familiar territory

This will not be the first time Hudson has shared his distinguished knowledge with USA Volleyball. The coach worked as an assistant on the Women’s Junior National Training Team in 2017.

A Kentuckian himself, Hudson’s record speaks for itself. Last season he became just the 19th active Division-I coach to win 600 matches and has coached WKU in 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.

It is this success that Hudson believes contributed to his second call up to join USA Volleyball, which he credits to “every kid” who played through his program.

“That’s something I’m proud about,” he said on the nomination. “These opportunities don’t come along very often and I think it speaks to USA Volleyball wanting to include me in something like this is a respect level that they have for what our program has grown into.

“From the time I took over this program 24 years ago, I always believed this place could be special in women’s volleyball. Not in my wildest dreams 24 years ago did I believe I’d wear USA across my chest and coach this sport.

“This opportunity is a statement to every kid that’s come through this program.”