Ricci Luyties was named the head coach of the UC San Diego women's volleyball program in March of 2010, becoming the sixth coach in program history. After leading Southern Mississippi to the program's first Conference USA title in 2009, Luyties replaced Tom Black, who accepted the head coaching position at Loyola Marymount after five successful seasons at UCSD.
Over his three seasons as head coach, Luyties has led UC San Diego to a 61-26 record.
With a young squad that included no seniors, Luyties guided the 2012 Tritons to a 20-11 overall record and a fourth place finish in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) with a 15-7 mark. For the seventh consecutive year, UCSD qualified for postseason play, traveling to Hawaii for the NCAA Division II West Regional.
Outside hitter Danielle Dahle was named the 2012 AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year and, along with middle Sara McCutchan, garnered AVCA All-West Region Honorable Mention accolades. Both Dahle and McCutchan were All-CCAA First Team selections, while setter Amber Hawthorne and outside Sophie Rowe were named to the league's second team.
In 2011, Luyties' second season at the helm of the program, the Tritons amassed an impressive 22-6 overall record and placed third in the CCAA with a 17-5 mark. UCSD qualified for NCAA postseason play for the sixth straight season. The Tritons blanked Grand Canyon in the first round before dropping a four-set match against Sonoma State.
Roxanne Brunsting, Katie Condon and Hillary Williamson earned All-CCAA accolades and Williamson also garnered All-West Region recognition. Brunsting was just the second player in school history to graduate with over 1,000 career assists and 1,000 career digs.
UCSD was ranked in the top-25 nationally every week during its 2011 campaign, climbing to a season-high of 10th in the AVCA's Sept. 19 listing.
Luyties inherited a talented Triton squad that went 29-3 in 2009 and finished second in the CCAA with a record of 20-2. He kept the momentum going in 2010 as UCSD went 19-9 overall and tied for second in the CCAA with a 15-7 mark. In the postseason, UCSD swept Sonoma State in a West Region quarterfinal before falling to CCAA champion Cal State San Bernardino in the semis.
Brunsting was named AVCA and Daktronics All-America Honorable Mention, while three Tritons were tabbed All-West Region and First Team All-CCAA.
UCSD was ranked as high as eighth in the nation in 2010.
Luyties came to La Jolla after six seasons at Southern Mississippi, where he led the Golden Eagles to an overall record of 85-96. In 2009, he guided Southern Miss to a 27-5 overall record and a 14-2 Conference USA mark. The Golden Eagles won their first outright league title and Luyties went on to earn C-USA Coach of the Year honors for his performance. The team's 14 conference wins were a program best and marked a seven-win improvement from a 7-9 finish in 2008.
Prior to taking over at Southern Miss, Luyties served as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado for three seasons, directing the right and left sides. He helped the Buffaloes reach the NCAA Tournament twice during his tenure with the program.
Before joining the collegiate ranks, Luyties was the head coach of the La Jolla High School boys and girls varsity programs and also served as the coach of the Coast Volleyball Club Girls 16s team. Additionally, he coached preps for the Wind N' Sea Volleyball Club in 1998-99 and led the San Diego Volleyball Club Boys 17s and Girls 15s and 16s teams from 1995-98.
Luyties had a very impressive playing career, reaching the pinnacles of the sport at both the collegiate and professional levels. He was one of the most decorated setters in NCAA history for UCLA, leading the Bruins to four consecutive NCAA Championships from 1981-84. He guided the program to an overall record of 126-7, including a pair of undefeated seasons, during his career with the Bruins.
The only player to start on four national title teams, Luyties was a two-time All-American and named the NCAA Most Valuable Player in 1983 and 1984. He was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 1995 and his No. 11 jersey was retired the following year.
Luyties also found success at the international level, winning a pair of gold medals as a member of the U.S. National Team from 1981-88. Alongside Karch Kiraly and Steve Timmons, he led the United States to gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and was also a key member of U.S. squad that won gold at the 1987 Pan American Games.
In addition to his achievements at the national level, Luyties also played professionally on the beach for 12 years, competing regularly on both the AVP Tour and the FIVB World Tour. His career featured wins in seven pro beach volleyball events, including the 1991 U.S. Championship with teammate Adam Johnson. He also won titles with Kiraly, one of the most legendary players in professional beach volleyball history.
Luyties graduated from UCLA in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in economics.