COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Cullen Irons has been added to the Texas A&M volleyball staff as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach Laura ‘Bird’ Kuhn announced on Tuesday.
Irons joins the Aggies after a two-year stint at Oklahoma where he served as an assistant coach with the Sooners. He played a vital role in Oklahoma’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament during the 2019 campaign, the Sooners’ first appearance since 2014.
“Cullen has high-level experience from playing and coaching on the men’s side, as well as training experience with our U.S. Women’s National Team,” Kuhn shared. “We are excited to have him in our gym on many levels. Cullen’s perspective and ability to relate to our players and share his experiences from various levels will be such a positive impact on our program.”
“I was ecstatic to learn about the opportunity to join Bird (Kuhn), Kolby (O’Donnell), Wendel (Camargo) and the rest of the amazing staff at Texas A&M,” Irons expressed. “I am excited to learn and see how they train, recruit and function as a team at A&M.”
In the summer of 2021, Irons was presented the opportunity to serve as a practice player for the women’s Olympic team roster, emulating the likes of Paola Egonu, Zhu Ting, and many others. Shortly after, he was asked to work with the senior women’s program in a coaching capacity as an assistant to head coach Joe Trinsey at the NORCECA Continental Championships. In that role, Irons guided several national champions and All-Americans into their, and his, first international competition representing Team USA.
Irons went to Oklahoma in April 2019 after spending six years with the UC Santa Barbara men’s volleyball team. He was named UCSB’s assistant coach prior to the 2014 season and was made the program’s associate head coach at the start of the 2019 campaign. He was named the 2016 AVCA Division I-II Men’s National Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Gauchos to their second 20-win season in the last 25 years.
In April 2019, Irons was named a recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award. This award is given annually to 30 up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years old in the sport at all levels of the game. Irons was one of just two recipients from the men’s NCAA Division I-II level.
Irons was involved in all facets of the UCSB men’s volleyball program, including recruiting, scouting, game planning, practice coordination, operations and community service. With Irons on the staff, UCSB accrued a 99-68 record over the span of six years.
A standout right-side hitter, Irons played collegiately at UCSB from 2008-11, totaling at least 250 kills and 100 digs in all three of his seasons as a starter. He was named to the 2011 All-NCAA Tournament Team after leading the Gauchos in kills and ranking second in blocks and digs at the national tournament, helping his squad earn a runner-up finish.
A native of Hanford, California, Irons received a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography from UCSB in 2011.