Bruce Atkinson, who has a reputation for building championship programs on both the NCAA Div. I and Div. II levels, has been named the new women's volleyball coach at Winthrop replacing Julie Torbett who accepted the head coaching position at East Carolina.
Atkinson joins the Eagles from Towson University just outside Baltimore where he served as head coach for the past three years. He directed the Tigers to the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship with a 12-0 conference record and a 25-4 overall slate. His 2011 team compiled a 23-9 record and he was voted the 2011 and 2012 CAA Coach of the Year. In his first season at Towson, he took over a program that had gone 8-21 the previous year and finished the 2010 season with a 16-15 record which included a 10-0 mark to start the season, the best start in program history.
We had a large pool of outstanding candidates for the job, but Coach Atkinson's reputation for developing championship caliber programs is very impressive and we are pleased that he has accepted the offer to coach our volleyball program, said Winthrop Athletic Director Tom Hickman.
Bruce Atkinson mug Prior to arriving at Towson, Atkinson served as head coach for three years at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, a Div. II school, where he led the Vulcans to a 23-5 record in his first season and was selected the 2007 PacWest Coach of the Year. Hawaii-Hilo posted a 21-7 record in its second season under Atkinson and finished second in the league. In 2009, Atkinson and the Vulcans carried a top 20 ranking for most of the season and finished with a 25-2 record as the team made its first postseason appearance in over a decade and Atkinson earned PacWest Coach of the Year honors for the second time.
Before taking over at Hawaii-Hilo, Atkinson served as the head coach at the University of Texas Brownsville for a year. He got his first head coaching job in 2004 at Dana College where he was also an assistant professor of physical education. He began is coaching career in 1999 as an assistant women's volleyball coach and health and physical education instructor at Merced College where he served for five seasons
The 45-year-old California native holds a degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University-Hawaii in 1993. He also received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences in 1996. He is married to the former Junae Kekauoha