Kansas Wesleyan Director of Athletics Steve Wilson has named Dustin Sahlmann as men’s volleyball coach.
Sahlmann comes to Kansas Wesleyan after spending two seasons at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark. leading the women’s program for the Scots. After leading Lyon to an 8-14 finish in his first season, the Scots posted a 12-18 record in 2021. He coached a total of seven All-AMC student-athletes in his two seasons.
“I want to thank Kansas Wesleyan President Dr. Matt Thompson, Director of Athletics Steve Wilson and the rest of the search committee for the exciting opportunity to lead the Men’s Volleyball program,” Sahlmann said. “After speaking with those involved, I knew that this was a department that shares the same ideals as I regarding the student-athletes I will come in contact with as well as the vision that I have for this program.
“I would not have been able to get to this point if not for the love and support of my wife Shea and my two kids, Britney and Arron. Most importantly, I want to thank God for His guidance and timing for this next chapter in my career.”
“It’s fantastic to bring in someone with the coaching pedigree and track record of Dustin Sahlmann,” said KWU Director of Athletics Steve Wilson. “But when you get to know Dustin as a person, you know why he’s our choice to lead this program. He cares about his students on a deep level, and he’s a tireless worker. A foundation is there, and his ability to recruit will take this program to the next level.”
Before Lyon, Sahlmann spent four seasons at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. During his time at UAPB, the Lady Lions won more conference matches in three years than any other coach in school history (26). Sahlmann helped raise the team grade-point average from a 3.0 to a 3.775 during his time at UAPB.
“The ability to come in, build a new program in a growing field of teams like men’s volleyball was a huge draw,” Sahlmann said. “Being able to start from the ground floor is very appealing to me and I look forward to what all we can accomplish. The other draw was a desire for the entire KWU family to want success. That is a great feeling as a coach to hear a unified message of wanting championships.”
Sahlmann said that his teams will have three main traits evident on the floor in every match.
“The main traits of the teams you see on the floor from the men’s volleyball program are going to be unity, consistent fight, and a dynamic style of play that over time will evolve into a flowing offense that keeps the block guessing as well relentless defensive play,” he said.
Before Arkansas Pine Bluff, Sahlmann served as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech in 2014, and served as an assistant at the University of New Orleans for the 2013 season and served as interim head coach in spring 2014 at UNO.
Sahlmann earned his first head coaching position at the collegiate level in 2011 at Philander Smith College.
Sahlmann also spent time as the head volleyball coach of the Little Rock Juniors and at Pulaski Academy High School after beginning his coaching career as a student assistant at the University of Arkansas in 1994.
“Dustin understands volleyball at multiple levels and from multiple angles,” Wilson said. “He’s coached in the NAIA, so our rules and compliance will not be new to him, but he’s also coached the game at multiple NCAA levels. He has a great level of exposure to the game as a coach, and he has a deep knowledge of the intricacies that make the men’s and women’s games different, from his experience as a highly skilled player.”
“Over my career I have had the opportunity to be able to recruit from all over the US as well as internationally,” Sahlmann said. “I will use those ties to help us develop a roster. I also have had to work developing talent from all ages. I believe this is going to allow me to get a large amount of growth out of the current roster.”
Sahlmann obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix in 2006.