Head volleyball Coach Christi Posey is in the middle of her second season with UMKC. After serving as a top assistant and recruiting coordinator for 11 years with the University of Kansas volleyball program, Posey was offered the head coaching position at UMKC. While she will always have high regards for Kansas as an alumna and former athlete, Posey says UMKC is the right fit.
Her team stands 14-8, including 7-3 in the Summit League, after Sunday’s 3-1 victory over IUPUI. “[UMKC] was a place that I knew had great possibilities,” Posey said. “I’m from the Kansas City community. I coached club volleyball here for a number of years and I always thought [UMKC] had a great chance of being successful.”
Posey explained how she came to UMKC in 2011.
“I had the right resources in place and I was fortunate enough to get an interview and visit with our Athletics Director Tim Hall,” she said. “Ron Aulet, who is my sports supervisor and assistant athletics director, knew me because he also worked at the University of Kansas in the athletic department, so we had a connection that way. Then I was lucky enough to land the position [as head coach] and I was really excited about it. I think we have some good things in place and now we just have to follow up on our vision that we told our players about and obviously administration about.”
Posey saw differences between the volleyball program at KU and the program at UMKC.
“It’s a different budget, so obviously not having football to generate that kind of revenue makes a big difference,” she said. “I love the community. I love the support that we have from our other student athletes, administration and coaches.”
Posey said she did not experience the close-knit family atmosphere as much at KU because of the difference in the university’s size.
“I think it’s a small but mighty community here,” she said. “I think we all have similar challenges. We may have challenges unique to our sport, but similar challenges in what we would consider a mid-major level athletic department. But everyone works their tail off and wants other programs to be successful. I think there’s a really close-knit family atmosphere here.”
Despite Posey’s switch, UMKC fell to KU in three straight sets on Sept. 4 in Lawrence.
“It was tough [playing KU]. I didn’t want to make it anything other than just UMKC playing KU,” she said. “It was a factor that I had a hand in recruiting the players that are still there and that will change over time obviously. I have invested a lot of time and energy into that program and they will always be very special to me. I think it was a bit more than what I thought our players were used to. I think the physicality that the Big 12 typically has and that KU has a big team [were factors in how we performed]. So we hadn’t seen that as often as they do.”
Posey is hopeful, and said she thinks it will be different the next time UMKC faces KU.
Posey also has 18 years of experience coaching at the high school level. She served as head volleyball coach at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park from 1993 to 2000. She led the team to two state championships and to the state tournament each of the eight years she coached.
Posey also served as the head girls’ basketball coach and assistant softball coach at Blue Valley Northwest.
Posey was named a member of the inaugural Husky Hall of Fame class. She also received numerous “Coach of the Year” awards from The Kansas City Star, the Kansas Volleyball Association and Kansas Sport Magazine..
Before becoming head coach at Blue Valley Northwest, Posey served in the same position at Halstead High School in Kansas from 1983 to 1990.
Posey lettered in volleyball and softball during her freshman and sophomore years at Wichita State. She transferred to KU for her final two years, where she played softball for the Jayhawks. She graduated from Kansas in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in health education. Despite having experience with a number of sports, Posey chose to pursue volleyball because she feels most passionate about it.
“Volleyball was just that sport that I couldn’t get enough of,” she said. “To me, it’s the ultimate team sport. There is no other sport that depends so much on a previous contact quite as much as volleyball. It just lit me up. I loved playing it and I loved coaching it.”
Posey said she enjoys the team chemistry in volleyball.
“I liked the strategy. I’m a big believer in team chemistry and how important that is and building leaders and team dynamics,” she said. “So for me, this was a perfect fit.”