MISHAWAKA – Bethel Athletic Director Tony Natali is pleased to announce that Eric Snyder has been named as the first head coach in men’s volleyball program history.
“Men’s Volleyball will be an exciting addition to Pilot Athletics and Eric Snyder is the right person to start the program,” stated Natali. “Coach Snyder is a proven winner and does things the right way. Our students will enjoy seeing this program get off the ground.”
Snyder takes the reins of the men’s volleyball program after previously serving as the head coach for Campbellsville (Ky.) men’s volleyball since 2019. He has more than 12 years of collegiate volleyball coaching experience, including head coaching stops at Coker (SC), Warner (Fla.), Stonehill (Mass.), Mary (ND), and the US Coast Guard Academy (Conn.). In addition to his head coaching duties of the men’s program, Snyder will also serve under Katie Weiss as a full-time assistant for the women’s volleyball program, as well as serving as the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance.
At Campbellsville, Snyder most recently led the Tigers to an NAIA Fab Four finish and a No. 4 final ranking by the NAIA with an appearance in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) Tournament Championship in 2022. The Tigers ranked 6th in the NAIA in blocks per set at 2.39. In 2021, the Tigers captured the MSC Regular Season and Tournament Championships and an appearance in the NAIA National Championship Tournament.
In 2020, Snyder led the Tigers to a 23-2 overall record and an NCCAA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Championship as well as an overall No. 1 ranking in the NAIA during the season before COVID-19 shut down the postseason. Snyder was named the Coach of the Year by the NAIA, US Marine Corps & AVCA, and Mid-South Conference in 2020.
In his first season at Campbellsville in 2019, the Tigers won the MSC North Division and were the MSC Tournament Runners-Up.
Prior to Campbellsville, Snyder spent one season at Warner (Fla.), leading the Royals to a 17-3 record and an MSC Regular Season title—with an undefeated 12-0 mark—after spending three years at Coker (SC) to begin his men’s college coaching career from 2015-17, leading the Cobras to two of their best seasons in program history and ranked as high as No. 23 in the NCAA DI/DII RPI poll.
In 2015-16, Coker led NCAA DI/DII with 2.05 aces per set. It was the first NCAA statistical championship in the program’s history. During the 2016-17 season, Snyder not only scheduled some of the toughest non-conference opponents (Penn State, Ohio State, Harvard, Princeton), he also created an IVA (Independent Volleyball Association) post season tournament to allow independent NCAA Division II men’s programs an opportunity to play for a postseason championship.
Before his time at Coker, Snyder spent time as an assistant coach at both Kennesaw State (Ga.) and Emory (Ga.) where he helped guide the Emory Eagles to the Final Four and a 34-5 record.
Snyder got his first head coaching opportunity, in women’s volleyball, at Stonehill College (Mass.) with 31 wins from 2007-08, leading the Skyhawks to their first 20-win season since 1997 in 2008. For his efforts, Snyder was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award List, an award that honors thirty of the up-and-coming coaches under 30 years of age in volleyball at all levels of the game.
He spent a year at University of Mary (ND) in 2009 before spending two seasons at the US Coast Guard Academy (Conn.) In 2011-12, Snyder led the Bears to 44 wins from 2011-12 with a NEWMAC Regular Season co-championships and an ECAC championship in 2011 with a 26-6 record.
From 2018-19, Snyder was also the head coach of the women’s volleyball program at Campbellsville, leading the Tigers to a 42-29 record in two seasons and an MSC Tournament Runner-Up finish in his first year.
Snyder played collegiate volleyball at Southern New Hampshire University, where he led the Penmen to the team’s first-ever New England Collegiate Volleyball League tournament appearance in 2004. Snyder served as a Graduate Assistant Coach at Tiffin (Ohio), the Findlay (Ohio) and at Emmanuel (Ga.). While at Emmanuel, Snyder helped guide the nationally ranked Saints to the best record in program history in 2011.
“I am incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to start a brand-new NAIA Men’s Volleyball program at an awesome place like Bethel,” stated Snyder. “The interest and enthusiasm around campus for a new athletic program like men’s volleyball gives me goosebumps. I think the student body is really looking forward to watching this new team play!”
“God has blessed BU and guided my journey here for a purpose,” continued Snyder. “I am humbled He chose me to lead. Many thanks to President Bellefeuille, Tony Natali, Shawn Holtgren, and the other members of the hiring committee. We hope and pray that men’s volleyball will add yet another exciting campus dynamic to an already great institution and that Pilot Men’s Volleyball follows a great Christian tradition of athletic success. Go Pilots!”
Bethel will compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which offers Men’s Volleyball as an official Championship Sport in the spring season, as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) as an Invitational Sport in the winter season.
Men’s Volleyball began in the NAIA as an Emerging Sport in 1998-99 and upgraded to an official Championship Sport in the NAIA for the 2018-19 season. It is in its third season in its current capacity. At the NCCAA level, there are 13 schools across the nation currently sponsoring the sport at the varsity level.
The Pilots will begin competing in the spring of the 2022-23 academic year and will compete in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), alongside Goshen and Mount Vernon Nazarene–the currently only two other schools in the Crossroads League to sponsor the sport. Student-athletes interested in competing in Men’s Volleyball at Bethel can complete and submit a prospective student-athlete questionnaire.
For the latest information on each of Bethel University’s 31 intercollegiate athletic teams, visit BUPilots.com or follow the Pilots on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @BUPilots or on YouTube at /BethelSportsNetwork.
Snyder’s Career Coaching Record
NAIA Pool Play
COVID / #2 Rank
US Coast Guard
US Coast Guard