SMSU’s Terry Culhane retires after legendary career as volleyball coach

Mustangs excelled under Culhane’s guidance
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 11:32 PM CST
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MARSHALL, MN (Dakota News Now) -The volleyball program at SMSU has been incredible the last 18 years under head coach Terry Culhane.

But it will look much different next year when the Mustangs take the floor. Terry has decided to retire. And he waited until the very end of the season to let all of us know for a reason. Terry Culhane, retiring SMSU Volleyball Coach says, “I talked to the team about it, they were the first to know. I tried to hold on to it as long as I could so it didn’t mess up our season much.”

Terry Culhane has never messed up a season. He has been Mr. Volleyball in the Marshall area where he won 5 state titles at Tracy-Milroy and another at Marshall, winning 519 times in 22 seasons in high school. Then he made the move to SMSU where the winning continued. His teams never won less than 18 times as he compiled 431 wins including a 30-3 record in 2012 when they were ranked #1 in the country. They even made it to the D-II championship in 2014.

Taylor Reiss was named National Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018 and Division II Female Athlete of the Year. She spent this year as a grad assistant under Culhane, who she says helped groom her as a player and now as a coach. Reiss says, “I really appreciate everything he’s done for me. I don’t think I would have been where I was if I didn’t have him for a coach. I’m very thankful that he gave me the opportunity to play for SMSU.”

So many great players and teams. Terry knows he was truly blessed over the last 40 plus years. Terry says, “You have so many memories and every year you deal with some of the same kids but you also have new ones and you just continually build that.”

And he feels great about those life-long relationships with his players. But now wife Sandy is looking forward to having more time together. Culhane says, “We want to go places and do things while we’re still healthy and go from there.”

One thing is clear. Whoever takes over will inherit an incredibly successful program thanks to the hard work of Terry Culhane. Reiss says, “He wants you to come in and be able to give your best to not only to the coaches but the players and hold yourself to a high standard. So I think that’s what has made our program very successful over the years.”

And I’m quite sure you’ll see him in the stands watching his Mustangs next season too. Best wishes to a friend of many including me.

Culhane assures us, “It will be good.”

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