Cindy Cavanagh was introduced as Kalamazoo College's head volleyball coach on June 7. She began on July 1.
Coach Cavanagh guided the Hornets to six straight wins to start the 2019 season marking the second-best start in school history.
Cavanagh came to Kalamazoo from Finlandia University where she was the head volleyball coach and assistant athletic director for student development in 2018-19, leading the Lions to the American Collegiate Athletic Association championship match.
"The positive leadership, campus culture, energy, and passion the faculty, staff, and students have at Kalamazoo College is incredible and truly inspiring," Cavanagh said at the time of her hire. "At Kalamazoo College I have an opportunity to empower young women to further develop their leadership skills, discipline, tenacity, confidence, respect for others, cohesive unity, and mental fortitude not only in competition but in life. This new opportunity as the head coach will allow me to grow both personally and professionally."
Immediately before her time at Finlandia, Cavanagh was the program manager of Top Flight Volleyball Club in Illinois, leading her 2017 team to second place at the 2017 AAU Nationals.
Cavanagh worked in various training and coaching roles with the Wisconsin Juniors Volleyball Club as well as in a graduate assistant role at her alma mater, Carthage College. In her third year as a GA, the Lady Reds won conference regular season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA III regional championship match.
"I am pleased to have Coach Cavanagh join our team and lead our volleyball program," said Becky Hall, Kalamazoo College's Director of Athletics. "She is an outstanding addition to our department and the Kalamazoo community. We are excited about her passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the sport of volleyball and welcome Cindy to our family here at K!"
Cindy graduated from Carthage in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in exercise sport science (health minor). She earned her master's degree in higher education leadership studies (sports leadership) at Carthage in 2014. As a player, Cindy helped the Lady Reds win three conference championships, four conference tournament championships, along with a regional championship and national semifinal appearance her senior year. She earned all-conference honors twice and was named to the regional and national all-tournament teams as a senior. In addition to volleyball, Cindy was a four-time all-conference honoree in track and field.
Cavanagh took over a program run the past 35 years by Jeanne Hess who retired in 2019.
"I competed against Coach Hess as a player and as a coach," Cavanagh said. "To me, Coach Hess truly exemplifies a commitment to excellence through her coaching style, the love and dedication she displays to her athletes, and seeing what an impact her leadership has made on the volleyball community and Kalamazoo College is one I hope to emulate. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds."