TONY GRAYSTONE | HEAD COACH
With four seasons under his belt, Texas Tech volleyball head coach Tony Graystone continues to push the Red Raiders on an upward stride of success. Helping the Tech to its third consecutive winning season in 2019, Graystone led the Red Raiders to a 17-13 overall record and a 7-9 mark in Big 12 Conference play – Tech’s best league record since 2002. The Red Raiders also posted their best conference finish in program history after taking fifth place.
Graystone’s Red Raiders collected four conference road wins in 2019, which marked Tech’s most Big 12 season road wins since posting four back in 2001. Under his guidance, Emily Hill raked in AVCA All-Region honors, as well as an All-Big 12 First-Team nod, after she became one of four Red Raiders in program history to collect 1000 kills and 1000 digs. The Red Raiders finished the 2019 season as an AVCA Top-100 team for the third straight year and three Red Raiders – Emily Hill, Emerson Solano and Caitlin Dugan – took home Big 12 weekly awards.
Tech set another bar in 2019 as it earned its first season sweep over Iowa State for the first time since 2004. Additionally, the Red Raiders earned their first 3-0 sweep at Kansas State in program history with a clean sheet in Manhattan, Kan., on Oct. 2.
One-upping its academic success from last season, The Red Raiders set a record in the classroom as a program-high 12 student-athletes were honored on the Academic All-Big 12 Teams – nine Red Raiders made the first team and four Red Raiders were honored on the second team.
Adding even more splendor to an already exciting season, Graystone earned the 500th victory of his career on Oct. 16 after the Red Raiders clipped the Kansas Jayhawks in a 3-2, come-from-behind win at United Supermarkets Arena.
In 2018, Graystone led Tech to its second consecutive winning season with a 17-13 overall record and a 6-10 mark in Big 12 Conference play – the best league record Tech had seen since 2004. Graystone’s squad received votes three times in the AVCA Top 25 Poll and finished the 2018 season as an AVCA Top 100 Team for the second straight year. Tech set a program record with 10 Academic All-Big 12 honors and led the conference for a second straight year with four student-athletes recording perfect 4.00 GPAs.
Four Red Raiders received All-Big 12 postseason accolades in 2018, with senior setter Missy Owens highlighting the quartet as the Big 12 Co-Setter of the Year and First Team All-Big 12. Fellow senior Katy Keenan made the All-Big 12 second team along with junior Emily Hill and freshman Brooke Kanas, who was also tabbed to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. The 2018 season marked the first time since the formation of the Big 12 that Tech has had four Red Raiders represented and the six total distinctions is a program record. Owens was Tech’s first setter of the year, the eighth player in program history to earn first-team honors and the first with a superlative since 2005.
In 2017, Graystone led the Red Raiders to its first winning season and first postseason since 2001, finishing 19-15 for its most wins since 2000. Graystone’s 2017 club exceed its Big 12 preseason poll selection by three spots and culminated in a runner-up finish at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. With its most Big 12 wins since 2006, Tech earned its highest finish in the Big 12 standings since 2002.
Graystone was hired on Jan. 21, 2016 after seven seasons as the head volleyball coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. During his first season in Lubbock, Graystone guided the Red Raiders to improvement in several statistical categories from the season prior, including kills, assists, service aces, digs, solo blocks and total blocks.
In seven seasons at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Graystone turned the Islanders into one of the premier volleyball programs in the Southland Conference. The Islanders put together their best season in program history in 2015, finishing 31-5 overall, with a spotless 16-0 conference mark. It was also the first NCAA Tournament berth for the Islanders, who faced Texas A&M in first round play. Their win total was the best in school history and was one win short of the winningest season by any Southland program.
Graystone's TAMUCC squads recorded 20 or more wins in three of his last four seasons, finishing one victory shy of that mark in 2014. He improved his team's win total in each of his first four seasons on the Island, culminating with the 2013 season, which was a historic season for the Islanders. The team finished with a 20-12 record, including a then school-best 13-5 record in Southland Conference play. The Islanders also made history by advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time.
In the last four years at TAMUCC, Graystone collected a 91-44 record, including a 52-16 record in Southland play. In 2014, the Islanders made their fourth consecutive appearance and fifth overall trip to the Southland Tournament. For the second-straight year, the Islanders advanced to the semifinals while finishing with a 19-16 record, including an 11-5 record in conference play.
The squad set a school record in 2012 with a 21-11 mark. The Islanders won 12 Southland matches and finished third in the conference, both first-time accomplishments for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. After Graystone took over the program, the Islanders improved their national RPI by 235 spots, making them the most improved NCAA Division I team in the country by the end of 2015.
Prior to his stint at the Island, Graystone spent 10 seasons as the head coach at West Texas A&M in Canyon, where he posted a 315-61 record and became the all-time winningest coach in program history. His .837 winning percentage was the third-highest among active NCAA Division II head coaches and he reached 300 victories faster than any other coach in the division's history. He reached 100 wins in 106 matches making him the quickest coach at the time in any NCAA sport or division to reach the century mark in wins. He was named the Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year five times and the AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year on four occasions.
At West Texas A&M, he guided the Lady Buffs to five NCAA Regional appearances and eight Lone Star Conference crowns in 10 seasons. He mentored 16 All-Americans and one Division II National Player of the Year in 1999. His 2001 team was ranked No. 1 for seven weeks, while his 2002 team held the top spot for five weeks. In 2003, his team set an NCAA standard with 77 conference wins in a row.
Before becoming the head coach of WT, Graystone was an assistant coach for the Lady Buffs and was part of a coaching staff that won the NCAA Division II Championship in 1997. He also served as the program director for the Amarillo Junior Olympic Volleyball Club. He began his career as a head coach at Waggener and Ballard High Schools in Louisville, Kentucky.
Graystone earned an M.S. in exercise physiology from the University of Louisville in 1996 after graduating with a B.S. in Health Sciences with an emphasis in exercise science from Grand Valley State (Mich.) in 1992.
He and his wife Lauren, a native of Whitharral, Texas, have two sons, Drew and Dylan.
TONY GRAYSTONE FILES
Career Record: 503-222(20 Seasons)
Record at Texas Tech: 63-62(3 Seasons)
Collegiate Coaching Experience
2016-Present: Texas Tech Head Coach
2009-15: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Head Coach
1999-08: West Texas A&M Head Coach
1997-98: West Texas A&M Assistant Coach
2015 Southland Conference Coach of the Year
2007 AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year
2007 Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year
2006 AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year
2006 Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year
2005 AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year
2002 AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year
2002 Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year
2001 Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year
2000 AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year
2000 Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year
Texas A&M Corpus-Christi
Recorded 20 or more wins in three of last four years
First NCAA Div. I Regional Appearance (2015)
Best season in school history in 2015 (31-5, 16-0)
The 31 wins was one shy of the conference mark
Set school record in conference wins three times
Took TAMUCC to first conference tournament semis
Improved RPI 235 slots by end of 2015
West Texas A&M
1997 NCAA Div. II National Champions (Asst. Coach)
8 Lone Star Conference Championships
5 NCAA Div. II Regional Appearances
Reached first 100 wins in just 106 matches
Winningest Coach in West Texas A&M History
Guided the Red Raiders to a second-place finish in the 2017 NIVC
Earned the 500th victory of his career against Kansas on Oct. 16, 2019
Led the Red Raiders to their best Big 12 Conference finish in 2019 with a fifth-place showing