Locke steps down as head coach

By Gus Bode

Accepts position as academic adviser

Sonya Locke has presided over SIU volleyball for the last 14 years, but she will take a new position as academic adviser for Saluki athletics, effective July 1.

Locke said in a press release that she has contemplated the change for some time now.


“I am excited about the opportunity to continue to mentor young people,” Locke said. “The team is in good hands with the players who are returning and with those joining the program this fall. If there was ever a good time to change directions, it’s now.”

Locke told the Daily Egyptian Wednesday, “It hasn’t hit me yet.”

Locke was an All-American volleyball player for SIU from 1979 to 1982 and was inducted into the Saluki Hall of Fame in 1988. She returned to her alma mater as head coach in 1991, compiling a 188-232 record in 14 seasons.

Locke’s best season was in 2002 when she led SIU to a 23-10 record and its first-ever Missouri Valley Tournament final appearance. Locke earned Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and the National Black Coaches Association Female Coach of the Year award after that season.

SIU athletic director Paul Kowalczyk said a search to find Locke’s replacement would begin immediately.

“Sonya’s leadership skills and passion for Saluki athletics will continue to benefit our department in her new role as academic adviser,” athletic director Paul Kowalczyk said in the release. “There’s no one more committed to the student-athlete concept and no finer representative of Southern Illinois University.”