Cougar Volleyball Head Coach
In 2000, fulfilling her first season at the helm of the Cougar volleyball program, head coach Melinda Wrye-Washington surpassed all expectations. With a team composed of ten freshmen and three sophomores, Wrye-Washington led the youthful squad to a 44-2 finish and a second place finish at the NAIA National Tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla. For her efforts, she was named the American Midwest Conference and NAIA Region V Coach of the Year.
In 2001, the Cougars improved on their 2000 performance, finishing as the NAIA National Champions with a perfect record of 38-0. For her efforts, Wrye-Washington was named conference, region and national tournament coach of the year.
The 2002 squad finished with a mark of 32-7 and in 2003, the squad again earned an appearance in the NAIA National Championship match before falling to Fresno Pacific University in the Championship game. In 2004, Washington's fifth year, the Cougars finished third in the NAIA National Tournament with a record of 43-5. For her efforts, she was named the NAIA AVCA Coach of the Year by her peers.
The Cougars again appeared in the National Championship game in 2010, falling to Fresno Pacific University to finish the year with a 42-3 record. Wrye-Washington had two players named First Team All-Americans and coached the NAIA Player of the Year in Paula Ferreira. Columbia earned a tie for third place at the NAIA National Tournament in 2011, finishing with an overall record of 39-4.
Melinda guided the Cougars to another National Championship appearance this past season, where the team fell to No. 1 ranked and undefeatede Concordia (Calif.) University. Columbia finished the year 42-2 and landed four players on the NAIA All-American team. Washington was named the AMC Coach of the Year for the ninth time in her career and also earned her second NAIA National Coach of the Year award.
She has posted a record of 517-61 (.894) in her 13 seasons at Columbia and currently ranks as the program's all-time wins leader.
Melinda played for three seasons at the University of Missouri where she was a team captain and an All-Big Eight Selection. She transferred to Columbia College for her senior season and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in 1995. She has also recently earned a Masters in Athletic Administration and Sports Management from William Woods University.
During her senior season at Columbia College "Minnow" was named the first NAIA First Team All-American in Cougar volleyball history. That season, she led the squad to a 40-19 overall record, to an American Midwest Conference championship, and to the team's first-ever NAIA National Tournament appearance.
Following graduation from Columbia College, Wrye-Washington spent three seasons as head women's volleyball coach, head women's basketball coach and senior athletic administrator of Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. In her final season, she led the women's volleyball Blue Jays to a 23-6 record and the school's first ever appearance in the NCAA Division III National Tournament. She compiled a record of 70-19 in her three years with the Westminster volleyball program.
In three years at Westminster, Melinda led the volleyball squad to St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships in 1998 and 1999, earning SLIAC Coach of the Year honors both seasons. She compiled a career record of 70-19 in her three years with the Westminster volleyball program. She also served as the women's basketball coach while at Westminster.
Entering the 2012 volleyball season, Melinda has a career collegiate volleyball coaching record of 545-78 (.875).
She lives in Fulton, Mo. with her two children, Michael and Madison.