Updated Jan. 22 at 6:55 p.m.
Athletic Director M. Dianne Murphy wasted little time naming a new women’s volleyball head coach.
Brie Katz, who has been a part of Columbia’s program since 2004, will take Jon Wilson’s place at the helm of the Light Blue program following Wilson’s retirement, Murphy announced Wednesday.
“We are thrilled to be able to appoint Brie as the new Head Volleyball Coach at Columbia,” Murphy said in a statement. “Brie has worked extraordinarily hard building a winning program with Jon Wilson. I know that she will continue to elevate our volleyball team to the next level.”
Katz orignially came to Morningside Heights as a volunteer assistant in 2004, and has held a number of different positions since. The associate volleyball head coach since 2010, Katz also served as acting head coach in 2007 prior to Wilson’s hiring. Wilson retired on Tuesday after six years at Columbia.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” Katz said of Wilson’s departure. “As far as we knew, he had three or four years left before he was planning to retire. I know that his 60th birthday changed his perception of life a bit.”
Wilson left behind a largely positive legacy, highlighted by a number of school records set by the 2010-2012 squads.
“Jon had an incredible, really successful run here,” Katz said. “He transformed the program and I was fortunate to work with him and be a partner in the process. He’s been a tremendous mentor and he leaves big shoes to fill.”
Though the Lions suffered a setback in 2013—the team finished tied for last in the Ivies after a number of key players missed significant time with injuries—Katz expressed optimism about the team’s future.
“They are in a very good place in terms of pursuing a championship,” Katz said of her players. “They want it, they are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do it, and they’re together. We’re a united front right now.”
Eric Wong contributed reporting.