Speaker will serve as interim director of volleyball operations
Boldt has served as Iowa's director of volleyball operations for last 5 seasons
Hawkeyes open their conference slate tonight at No. 23 Ohio State, face No. 4 Penn State on Saturday
The Hawkeyes meet the Cornhuskers at 7 p.m. tonight
Iowa faces Nebraska on the road Wednesday before hosting Northwestern at 7 p.m. Saturday
Ben Boldt ended his sixth season as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa in 2013. Boldt also served as Iowa's recruiting coordinator.
Iowa started the 2013 season on a high note, as the team secured a Chanticleer Invitational championship and the team's first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week since 2008 in Bethany Yeager, after posting a 3-0 mark opening weekend. The Hawkeyes posted a 9-3 record against nonconference opponents before beginning a difficult Big Ten conference slate. Fourteen of Iowa's 20 conference matches played were against ranked foes and it showed in the team's win loss column. On the season, Iowa compiled an overall record of 11-21 and a conference mark of 2-18. The Hawkeyes topped Indiana in five sets twice during the conference season, once at home on Oct. 19 and once on the road on Nov. 22.
Individual and academic accomplishments highlighted the 2013 season. With nine Fall Academic All-Big Ten honorees including Julianne Blomberg, Grace Burns, Katie Kelley, Erin Leppek, Alex Lovell, Alli O'Deen, Anne Yanda, Emily Yanny, and Bethany Yeager, volleyball tied the school record. Yeager broke the 23-year-old Iowa career digs record of 1,931 set by Janet Moylan in 1990, became the first player in Iowa history to surpass the 2,000 career digs mark, and ended her career ranked sixth in the Big Ten with 2,007 career digs. Nikki Dailey etched her name in the Iowa record book ending her career ranked fifth with 3,161 career assists, 14th all-time with 95 service aces, and 15th all-time with 1,049 digs. She became the 11th player in school history to reach the 1,000 mark in two statistical categories. Alex Lovell became the 16th player to surpass the 1,000 career digs mark and ranks 14th all-time with 1,099 career kills. Rachael Bedell also made Iowa's career kills list ending her career ranked 18th with 916 career kills.
The Hawkeyes faced another challenging slate in 2012, facing 16 eventual NCAA tournament teams, after taking on 18 in 2011. Boldt helped coach a young Iowa team -- with only one senior -- to eight nonconference victories. Five Hawkeyes garnered all-tournament honors. He led Iowa to conference wins at Indiana on Oct. 5 (3-1) and at 12th-ranked Purdue on Oct. 6 (3-0). The victory in West Lafayette, Ind., marked Iowa's first win at Purdue and first sweep of the Boilermakers since Nov. 10, 2000. It also marked the third win over a ranked foe during his time at Iowa, and his first victory over a ranked team on the road. No. 12 Purdue is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated during his tenure and the program's highest since defeating No. 11 Michigan at home in 2007 (Sept. 28). It also marked the first time Iowa won two-straight league contests since 2008 and consecutive league road matches since 2005. Purdue was one of seven Big Ten teams selected to the NCAA Tournament. Six league foes advanced to the Sweet 16 and two (Michigan, Penn State) represented the conference in the NCAA Final Four.
Boldt coached sophomore Alex Lovell to Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Oct. 8 for her efforts in the back-to-back league road victories. It marked Iowa's first Player of the Week honor since Sept. 18, 2006, when Melanie Meister received the recognition. It was also the Hawkeyes' first weekly honor since Christina Meister was tabbed Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 7, 2009. The Leonard, Mich., native equaled junior Rachael Bedell with a team-best 37 kills in the two wins.
Lovell finished the year with a team-high 382 kills, the most in a single season since Catherine Smale posted 441 in 2005. Junior Bethany Yeager totaled a career-best 533 digs in 2012 -- the most in a season since 2006, when Emily Hiza registered 545. Yeager became the 14th Hawkeye in program history to surpass 1,000 career digs in Iowa's season-opening sweep of Chicago State. She is fifth in program history with 1,522 career digs, moving up nine spots on the all-time list during the season.
Iowa also enjoyed a successful season off the court. Six Hawkeyes were named Academic All-Big Ten. The six selections are the most for the program since 2009.
In 2011, Boldt helped a young Hawkeye team capture a pair of nonconference tournament championships en route to a 10-3 nonconference record.
In the summer of 2010, Boldt served as an assistant coach for USA Volleyball, and in the spring of 2011, he was among the staff personnel at the U.S. Women's National Team tryouts.
In his second season in charge of backrow defenders, Boldt helped Bethany Yeager become the first Hawkeyes freshman in five years to lead the team in digs.
In his first season with the Hawkeyes, Boldt helped lead the team to six straight wins to start the season, a mark that matched the best program start in school history. He was instrumental in leading a Hawkeye defense that ranked third in the Big Ten in digs per game. Boldt also coached first-year libero Christina Meister, who ranked second in the conference in digs per game and became Iowa's first Big Ten Player of the Week since 2006.
Boldt, a native of Hickman, Neb., came to Iowa after serving two years as an assistant coach at Alabama. In his first season, Boldt helped the Crimson Tide to its third-straight NCAA Tournament berth, and its third overall NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. Boldt also coached middle blocker Crystal Hudson to All-America honors, and helped bring in Alabama's first top 30 recruiting class.
Boldt was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in the spring of 2009 when he was given the "Thirty Under 30 Award." The "Thirty Under 30 Award" was established so the volleyball community could spotlight up-and-coming professionals in the sport at all levels of the game, including high school and all NCAA Divisions.
Boldt served as a staff assistant for five seasons at the University of Nebraska while pursuing his degree, prior to joining the Alabama staff. While at Nebraska, Boldt was a part of one of the most successful programs in NCAA history. Nebraska won five Big 12 championships and advanced to the National Semifinals three times. In his final season at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers finished 33-1 at were crowned NCAA champions after knocking off Stanford in the title game.
While at Nebraska, Boldt served as a coach for USA Volleyball at numerous levels. He was a USA Youth National Team coach in 2005-06, and was also a part of the A2 team in 2004.
Boldt also has experience coaching at the club level. He served as head coach for the Iowa Rockets club for three years. He was also a head coach for both the Challenger Volleyball Club from 2000-04 and the Nebraska Juniors from 2005-06.
Boldt is married to current Hawkeye assistant coach Angie Boldt.