Ryan Talbot, RyanTalbot/Utah State Athletics
Now in his seventh year at Utah State, women's volleyball coach Grayson DuBose's Aggies are having one of their best seasons. The squad sits in first place in the WAC as the conference season begins its final stretch. DuBose became just the second coach in Utah State history to win 100 matches and just coached his 200th match in a three-set sweep over San Jose State on Oct. 13. DuBose sat down with Deseret News correspondent Kraig Williams to talk about volleyball, LDS missions, Twitter and eating on the road.
Q: You have the aggies sitting in first place in the Western Athletic Conference. What's going well for Utah State this season?
A: Offensively we are doing a real nice job. We've been playing well as a team. We're a pretty mature team. We have a couple of seniors that start and then a bunch of sophomores that all played as freshmen, so that has helped us along. The travel in the WAC is kind of a grind and I think they are used to it now. I think we're playing well and we've picked the right time of the year to be playing well.
Q: The WAC has five new teams in the conference for volleyball. Has it been strange going through a conference season and seeing so many unfamiliar faces?
A: It was. We were in a nice groove before. We knew where we wanted to go eat and where we wanted to stay. We've had to find new places to eat and new places to stay and new teams and new coaching styles that are just a little different. The WAC, in general, in volleyball is a lot faster paced. The sets are quicker and blocking is a bigger deal, but with these new teams the offense is a little slower and the blocking systems are a little different. So you have to adjust to a new style of play, which has been the hardest for us.
Q: You won your 100th match earlier this season and just coached in your 200th match last week. How have you enjoyed your time at Utah State?
A: I love Utah State. Logan is a really supportive community for all the college athletics. I like our administration. I like where we are headed as a department, and the university as a whole is one of the top research institutions in the country. I think that's kind of undervalued a little by people in the state. Most people just look at Utah and BYU, but as far as being a research institution, we are one of the top in the country. That's a fun thing to tell to kids that you're going to come, you're going to get a good education, people in the community are going to recognize you and take care of you and come to your matches.
Q: Have you been able to wrap your head around how the LDS church lowering the missionary age for women to 19 IS going to affect the program and recruiting in the future?
A: I haven't yet. We are putting a plan in place right now. My assistants and I are trying to see how we can make it work in the best interests of not just our program, but for the kids. We have had a couple kids already decide to go and because of their rapid decision-making process I haven't been able to really guarantee what we can do for them in the future when they get back. They want to go in January and come back the following year in July or August and I don't know how that will work. We are still working on it.
Q: You are a coach that has really embraced social media. You are on twitter (@USUVolleyball) talking to fans all the time. What has been the goal of that?
A: Our goal is fan support and increasing fan support. We try and let our alumni know what is going on. I think it works; I get comments back telling me, 'Thanks for letting me know what the score was. I couldn't follow it online' and stuff like that. I think it works in its own little way. It's pretty limited for us; I only have a thousand followers. Basketball and football have way more followers than I do.
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