An extraordinarily successful assistant coach with the Highlanders from 2011-2018, Chris Hertel has been named the 12th head coach of the Radford Volleyball program, Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg announced this past week.
“I’m thrilled to be returning to Radford University,” said Coach Hertel. “I want to thank Robert Lineburg, Malinda Tasler and the rest of the Radford staff for their confidence in me, and for bringing me back to the NRV.”
“I think the program is in a good place and poised to make some waves in the Big South Conference, and I’m excited to get started,” Hertel continued. “I would also like to shout-out my alma mater, Coach Jordan and all the people that make New Mexico State so special to me.”
“We are delighted to have Chris Hertel return to Radford University,” said Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg. “He was instrumental in the success we had while an assistant coach under Marci (Jenkins) Byers. These were some of the best years in Highlander Volleyball history. Chris has also been a part of an outstanding program at his alma mater, New Mexico State University. These experiences, as well as his knowledge of Radford University and the Big South Conference, have prepared him very well to lead the Radford University Volleyball program.”
“I’m happy to welcome Chris back to Radford,” added Associate Athletics Director for Compliance/Senior Woman Administrator Malinda Tasler. “The committee was very impressed with him and we’re looking forward to the future of our volleyball program.”
Hertel returns to the New River Valley following five seasons as an assistant coach at New Mexico State. He helped guide the Aggies to a 99-38 record across those five seasons, winning three consecutive WAC championships from 2019-2021 before reaching the Conference USA title game in 2023.
Under Hertel’s tutelage, the Aggies received 21 all-conference honors with 16 coming in the WAC and five being handed out by Conference USA. Megan Hart was named WAC Player of the Year, AVCA All-Region and an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American in her first year playing for Hertel in 2019, and Victoria Barrett was named WAC Freshman of the Year in 2020-21.
Most recently, Hertel helped Darian Markham earn Conference USA Libero of the Year honors for the 2023 season.
Before leaving for New Mexico State, Hertel served as the Highlander’s assistant coach from 2011-2018. His teams posted a 167-82 record during that time and went 83-35 during Big South conference play. The Highlanders reached six Big South Tournament championship matches, coming away with a pair of titles and NCAA tournament appearances.
In 2018 alone, Hertel’s assistance helped Radford reach the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) for the first time in program history, where the squad came away with an opening-round victory.
Hertel coached more than 30 Highlanders to all-conference status in the Big South while at Radford. He helped Maddie Palmer reach new heights as the two-time Big South Player of the Year, just the third player to win the conference’s top award during back-to-back season. Palmer was also named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Southeast Region Honorable Mention.
Not only have Hertel’s teams shown success on the court, but his squads were named AVCA Team Academic Award winners from 2012-2017. In 2016, his team’s grade-point average ranked in the top-25 nationally across all division one volleyball programs.
A 2011 graduate of New Mexico State, he also played an essential role in the Aggies success from 2006-08 when the team made three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Hertel was a part of the New Mexico State coaching staff in 2007, when the program reached 13th nationally, the highest ranking ever for New Mexico State in the AVCA poll. He also assisted in the team’s NCAA run in 2008, when the Aggies reached the second round of the postseason tournament.
Radford University Athletics