July 13, 2024

Hiltz resigns as volleyball coach

By GARDEN CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Garden City, KS-After five seasons at the helm, Patrick Hiltz resigned as head volleyball coach on Monday morning. 

“It’s a bittersweet decision to leave Garden City Community College and the city of Garden City,” Hiltz said. “Five years ago, Dr. Ruda and Colin Lamb entrusted me with the task of rebuilding the Broncbuster Volleyball program into something this community could be proud of once again. I can say that I feel like that mission has been accomplished.”

Hiltz was hired as the new head coach at East Central Community College in Mississippi.  

“What Coach Hiltz did for this program in five years can’t be talked about enough,” Director of Athletics, Mike Pilosof said in a statement. “We were at rock bottom when he arrived. There were some extremely difficult times. But thanks to his tireless work, Garden City volleyball is setup for a tremendous future.” 

Hiltz was instrumental in turning around a program that went winless the year prior to his arrival in 2019. Two years later, during a COVID-shortened spring, Hiltz guided the Broncbusters to an 11-win campaign. Then, after struggling through an injury-plagued 2021, Garden City won 20 games the next season, their most in a decade. It was also the program’s first winning season since 2007. They followed that up with an 18-13 mark in 2023. 

“I want to thank all of Garden City and Southwest Kansas for welcoming me and my family to the community,” Hiltz added. “In particular, I must thank Trista Bailey, who has been so supportive from the very first week. Also, I want to thank Shelly Duval at Great Bend HS, Jenn Barrett at Holcomb, Jill Scott at Ulysses, and Lauren Robinson at Scott City for allowing me into their gyms, often unannounced I might add, and for bringing their teams to support the Busters so many times! I’d also like to thank Chris Vargas for way too many things to list.” 

In five seasons, Hiltz coached 14 All-Conference selections, including a pair of first teamers in 2022.  

“We now expect to compete in one of the toughest conferences in the country, and that’s a direct result of the position that Coach Hiltz put us in,” Pilosof stated.  

Hiltz’s mentorship spread far beyond the floor as the volleyball program posted one of the top team grade point averages across the country, earning the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award in back-to-back years. 

“Thank you all for trusting me and believing in the vision of what we could built,” Hiltz said. “Forever my family. Once a Buster, always a Buster!” 

Before arriving in Garden City, Hiltz spent one season as an assistant coach at Blinn College in Texas. Prior to that, he was the indoor and beach volleyball coach at the University of Louisiana Monroe where he posted the most wins in program history.  

On the beach, Hiltz led ULM to three trips to the AVCA National Championships. In 2013, the team made an appearance, while in 2014 and 2015 the top individual pairs competed there. He coached two All-Americans, including one two-time All-American. He coached the beach volleyball team and pairs to victories over national powerhouses such as Louisiana State University, Georgia State University, Tulane University, the University of Washington, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Florida State University, the University of Southern California, and the University of South Carolina. In Hiltz’s final season with the beach volleyball program, ULM earned the most wins in program history with 19. 

Hiltz spent one season as the head volleyball coach for Nicholls State (La.) University in 2012. He coached the Colonels to the Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament.

Prior to Nicholls State, Hiltz spent one season as the assistant coach at ULM. The 2011 campaign saw the program accomplish one of the largest turnarounds in the country, going from no wins the previous season to a 10-16 record.

In 2009-2010, Hiltz served as the assistant coach at Phoenix College, where he was responsible for recruiting, working with defensive specialists, and assisting with game planning. The Bears made appearances at the regional tournament both seasons.

He began his career coaching several high school and club teams across Arizona and Nevada. He grew up and played high school volleyball in Santa Barbara, Calif., and helped lead San Marcos High School to a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Championship.