FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University athletic director Murray Hartzler announced on Monday (Dec. 19) the resignation of women’s volleyball head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick leaves FMU to accept the head coaching position at NCAA Division I Troy University.
An announcement was made on the Troy campus Monday afternoon. Located in Troy, Ala., the Trojan program is member of the Sun Belt Conference and finished this past season with a 10-15 overall mark.
Hartzler said that a search for Kirkpatrick’s successor would begin immediately.
Kirkpatrick recently completed his sixth and most successful season directing the Patriot volleyball program. He led the Patriots to a 29-11 record, which included the 2005 Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship, and to the team’s second-ever NCAA Division II national tournament bid. The 29 victories represented the fourth-highest win total in team history.
Kirkpatrick garnered Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after directing the Patriots to a 21-14 mark, a season that also saw him record his 200th career coaching victory. He compiled a 95-115 mark in his six seasons at Francis Marion, and owns a career coaching record of 239-218 in 14 years on the bench.
The York, Pa., native joined the FMU staff in August 2000 after coaching for eight seasons at his alma mater Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa. He recorded a 144-103 record at Lycoming, including a pair of trips to the Division III national tournament.
In addition to also maintaining the FMU athletic website, Kirkpatrick developed the highly successful Patriot (summer) Road Camps, as well as an on-campus summer camp.
“I would like to thank Murray Hartzler, President Fred Carter, and the FMU community for the opportunity that was given to me in 2000,” Kirkpatrick said. “From a coach’s perspective, the players are what make a program, and we have had a special group here at Francis Marion. I especially want to thank my wife Kathy for her help and sacrifices that have allowed me to follow my dream of becoming an NCAA Division I head coach.”
Kirkpatrick was the 12th head coach in the 33-year history of the Francis Marion program. The program boasts a .559 winning percentage (640-505 record).