After finishing her twelfth season guiding the Lady Pilot women’s volleyball team, Julia Reininga has stepped down from her head coaching position effective immediately. Coach Reininga experienced a great deal of success while leading the women’s volleyball team, acquiring an overall record of 288-182 and leading the Lady Pilots to an NCCAA National Championship in 2007. In addition, she led the team to seven NCCAA tournament appearances and six NCCAA regional championships. Her success was also noticed by those outside of Bethel College as she was named NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year five times and MCC Coach of the year once. Coach Reininga was also effective in not only bringing in talented players but developing them as well. Throughout her tenure, she coached 18 NCCAA All-Americans, as well as several MCC All-Conference and NCCAA All-Region players. “She has great knowledge of the sport of volleyball,” said Athletic Director Jody Martinez. “She cared about her players.” Additionally, Coach Reininga has been no stranger to Bethel College as she was a standout volleyball player for the Lady Pilots from 1993 to 1997. During that time, she was a member of two NCCAA National Championship teams and was named the school’s first volleyball NAIA All-American. She was also an assistant coach for three years before being named head coach. “Julie is probably considered one of the all-time best volleyball players that played at Bethel College,” said Martinez. As a result, she had her uniform retired and was inducted into the Bethel College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. The athletic department will now begin a national search for a new head volleyball coach. There are a number of things that Martinez and the athletic department will be looking for, including a minimum of three years of collegiate coaching experience, a bachelor’s degree and knowledge in budgetary management. Martinez also noted that the school will be looking for someone who is committed to Bethel’s Christ-centered mission.