Auburn’s national search stretched all the way to the west coast.
Brent Crouch from Southern California has been named the school’s new volleyball coach, Auburn athletics director Allen Greene announced on Tuesday night.
In two seasons at USC, Crouch led the Trojans to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament’s second round, before now making his jump to the Plains.
He replaces for Auburn coach Rick Nold who left the program in December.
Auburn has only ever been to the NCAA Tournament once, in 2010.
Crouch expects to guide the Tigers there.
“The Auburn family is going to see a volleyball program playing a fast, aggressive style of volleyball and to continue to develop young student athletes at the highest level on and off the court,” Crouch said in a statement with the announcement of his hire.
“I expect us to be earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament very soon, and I know our athletes are up for that challenge.”
Before USC, Crouch was the head coach at Portland, and before that he was an assistant coach with the team at Saint Mary’s College while also leading that program’s beach volleyball team.
Crouch has also coached with the USA Volleyball program, serving as an assistant with the U.S. Collegiate National Team which won gold at the 2016 U-22 Global Challenge.
“Volleyball in the SEC is on the rise, and it is only a matter of time before it leads the country,” Crouch projected. “I want to be at the forefront of that growth. Auburn volleyball is ready to take off, and I’m excited to partner with the department to ensure this happens.
“Once I knew I was aligned with the core values, mission and the specific vision of volleyball at Auburn outlined by Allen Greene, it was a simple decision to come on board.”
Crouch played for the club team at Texas A&M from 1993 to 1997. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Texas A&M and then a doctorate in philosophy from Oregon.
“Brent is a well-respected teacher, motivator and tactician which have guided him throughout his accomplished coaching career,” Greene said. “Most importantly, we feel that Brent's leadership will further enhance the Auburn experience for our student athletes.”
In 2018, USC finished 22-11 overall under Crouch and second in the Pac-12 on the way to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, his Trojans went 18-14.
“The first words Allen Greene spoke when I asked him what makes Auburn special were, with no hesitation, ‘The Auburn Family. It’s a real thing here,’” Crouch said. “Over the past several weeks of getting to know Auburn and the athletic department, I came to learn some of what he meant.
“This is an elite athletic program, and yet it is as warm, hospitable and passionate as any place I have been. … I can’t wait to experience the full force of the Auburn Family at the next competition on campus.”