Vander Galien hired as Rams head volleyball coach

Vander Galien hired as Rams head volleyball coach

MINNEAPOLIS – Faith Vander Galien has been hired to lead the North Central University women's volleyball program, effective immediately, director of athletics Greg Johnson announced on Tuesday. Vander Galien was a standout four-year student-athlete at the University of Northwestern, and has been a fixture in the local volleyball scene for several years.

Vander Galien was a part of Northwestern teams that won four straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) regular season and tournament championships, advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament each time with a Sweet 16 finish in her final season. The Chanhassen, Minn. native finished her career with 861 kills, 329 blocks, and a .365 attacking percentage from the middle hitter position. Vander Galien was a team captain and three-time All-UMAC award recipient, being selected to the all-conference first team at the conclusion of her senior year.

"I am both ecstatic and grateful to accept this position to lead the North Central volleyball program," said Vander Galien. She continued, "To join a community that integrates faith into athletics while prioritizing academic performance is a dream come true. I hope to continue the legacy that Coach Schmidt has set for this team by instilling passion, community character, and the true definition of success in the program."

Prior to her college career, Vander Galien played under Greg Sayuk at Southwest Christian High School in Chaska, Minn., advancing to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) State Tournament in 2008. Her club experience included being on the top teams for both Southwest Christian and Club Tonka.

Since her playing days, Vander Galien has spent time as a part- and full-time coach and instructor at Crossfire Volleyball Club, while also working as an event coordinator at Northwestern in St. Paul. Most recently, she spent several months in Spain, working with Sports Ambassadors as a missionary and coach.

"Faith will do a fantastic job of meeting our female student-athletes where they're at while continuing to grow the North Central program," said Johnson. He added, "She's the right individual to lead our women as they grow in mind, body, and spirit; I look forward to supporting and equipping her to do just that."

"First and foremost, Faith is passionate about honoring Christ through the platform of volleyball," commented Beth Wilmeth, who coached Vander Galien during her four years as a Northwestern student-athlete. "Faith has long been a student of the game, and her energetic drive and work ethic will continue to serve her well as she makes the transition to college coaching."

North Central went 12-16 in 2016 under head coach Stephanie Schmidt, who accepted the head coach position at Wheaton College (lll.) in March. The Rams have been on a positive trajectory throughout the last five years, improving on or matching the previous year's win total in the following season.

Vander Galien graduated from Northwestern with degrees in public relations and bible while also receiving a certificate of leadership from the university's two-year leadership development program. In addition to her volleyball duties at North Central, Vander Galien will also oversee the athletics department's transportation, site management, and logistics, as well as assist in the operations of the university's intramural programs.