Head Coach Bruce Billingsley
Bruce Billingsley, the winningest coach in St. Ambrose volleyball history,
has been at the helm of the Queen Bees since 1997. He led the
Queen Bees to back-to-back NAIA National Championship Tournament appearances in
2009 and 2010, and is a six-time Midwest Collegiate Conference Coach of the
Athletic Success: In his career at SAU, Billingsley's teams have
earned nine conference championships, seven regional and three national tournament
appearances. Billingsley has coached eight All-Americans and six conference
Players of the Year.
Academic Success: Under Billingsley, the Queen Bees have
received numerous American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Awards, for
a team GPA over 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. The program has produced 23 NAIA
Milestones: Billingsley recorded his 500th career win against
Midland Lutheran in a women's match on August 29, 2009. Billingsley recorded his
400th career win against Grinnell in a women's match on Sept. 17, 2005. His
300th victory came in a men's match against Milwaukee School of Engineering on
March 30, 2001, and his 200th volleyball victory against Tiffin in the 2002
Early Bird Tournament. Billingsley became the winningest volleyball coach at SAU
after his 157th St. Ambrose win in 2004.
Billingsley earned national recognition in 1995 by winning conference
championships and coach of the year honors in the same school year with both his
men's and women's teams. Billingsley has attended Level III training in USA
Volleyball's Coaching Accreditation Program and is a regional instructor for USA
Volleyball's Impact coaching certification program for Junior Olympic volleyball
Prior to coaching volleyball, Billingsley was President and CEO of
Cinarco-Elliott Audio-Visual and Computer Centers in Davenport and Moline and
MicroAge Computer Center of Davenport. Billingsley earned his BA in Economics
and Business Administration at Knox College and his Masters in Business
Administration at the University of Iowa.
In addition to coaching, Billingsley is an assistant athletic director
at St. Ambrose. He also teaches one or two activities classes per semester in
the Department of Kinesiology.
Coach Billingsley and his wife Linda have two sons, Randy and Matthew.
Coaching Career Highlights - Women
- Midwest Collegiate Conference Champions - 1994, 97, 98, 99, 01, 06, 08,
- MCC Coach of the Year - 1994, 98, 99, 01, 04, 06
- NAIA Regional Champions - 1999
- NAIA Region VII Coach of the Year - 1999, 06
- NAIA National Tournament - 17th Place 1999, 13th Place 2009, 13th Place 2010
Coaching Career Highlights - Men
- Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Champions - 1995, 96,
- MIVA Coach of the Year - 1995, 97
- NIRSA Collegiate Nationals - 5th Place 1996, 97
- NIRSA Collegiate Nationals - 9th Place 1995
- NAIA National Invitational Tournament - 5th Place 2003\
Assistant Coach Catherine
After an outstanding volleyball career at St. Ambrose, Catherine Wildner
moves to the sidelines to serve as an assistant coach with the Queen Bees in
A two-time First Team All-Midwest Collegiate Conference selection, Wildner
was selected as the conference's Setter of the Year in 2011. She also received
all-conference honorable mention twice, splitting time between setter and
Wildner, from Oak Lawn, Ill., was a member of back-to-back NAIA National
Championship-qualifying teams at St. Ambrose in 2009 and 2010.
She was named to numerous all-tournament teams during her collegiate career
and was recognized for her leadership abilities by being named SAU's National
Tournament Champion of Character at the 2010 national tournament. Wildner also
garnered academic all-conference honors three times.
The three-year SAU team captain has coaching experience at the club level,
working with 13s and 16s since her freshman year with the Bees.
Before arriving at St. Ambrose, Wildner helped lead Mother McAuley High
School to a second-place finish at state her junior year and a third-place
showing as a senior.
Assistant Coach Kyle Schwetz
Schwetz joined the Queen Bee coaching staff as an assistant in 2012. A
three-time All-American men's volleyball player, Schwetz led the Bees to four
straight national tournament appearances, including back-to-back national
runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012.
Schwetz graduated from Glenbard North High School in 2009. where he was a
standout athlete, not only on the volleyball court, but on the
football field as well. Schwetz received numerous scholarship offers, including
from Division 1 schools, to play defensive end.
Schwetz came to St. Ambrose to play
football but after one season changed his mind and decided to play the game of
volleyball year round. Since graduation from Glenbard North, Schwetz has gone
back to help coach and instruct the volleyball summer camps that his high school
At St. Ambrose, Schwetz is a Human Performance and Fitness major. He has
great aspirations to continue coaching in the many years to come. Schwetz is
excited to be a part of a women's program that has had great success in the past
and he hopes to contribute to the successes that they will have this year as
well. He is looking forward to a great year for both the men's and women's
volleyball programs at St. Ambrose.
Assistant Coach Ryan Kristensen
Kristensen joined the Queen Bees coaching staff in 2011. In the spring of 2013,
he wrapped up his playing career as a setter for the St. Ambrose men's
Kristensen graduated from Naperville North High School in 2009. Since graduating
he has returned to coach summer camps both at Naperville North and Wheaton North
He also coaches in the men's program at Sports Performance
Volleyball Club, which is the club he played for in high school.
After coaching for a year at Alleman High School in Rock Island, Kristensen
joined the St. Ambrose womenís staff.
He is excited to continue and build on the success the
two have had in the past in both menís and womenís programs.
Head JV Coach Nick Lynch
Nick Lynch takes the helm of the St. Ambrose women's JV volleyball team in
A two-year varsity men's volleyball player at SAU, Lynch was a team captain
as a sophomore in 2012. A setter from St. Louis, Mo., Lynch was fifth in the
NAIA in total assists and helped the Bees to their fourth straight conference
championship last year. In his two years at St. Ambrose, Lynch has helped the
Bees to a pair of NAIA National Tournament appearances, including a national
runner-up finish in 2012.
The 2012 SAU men's team set a program record for wins in a season as part of
a 33-3 season. That year, Lynch recorded five service aces in a 3-0 win over
Siena Heights, tying the second-most aces in a three-set match in school
In the summer of 2012, Lynch served as an assistant coach to the St. Louis
High Performance boys-17 Gold team that finished fifth in the Open Division of
the National Tournament. He has also helped with setting camps for High
Performance and summer camps for Francis Howell High School.
Lynch, a four-year starter at Francis Howell, was a two-time captain and
two-time all-conference selection in high school. He helped the team to a
fifth-place state finish as a sophomore libero. In the classroom, he earned
academic all-conference honors four times.
Lynch helped St. Louis High Performance to five consecutive appearances (14s
through 18s) in the Open Division at the National Tournament and two top-10
finishes. He was a team captain in three of those years.
JV Coach Kelly Zielinski
Kelly Zielinski begins her first year of college coaching as an Assistant for
the Queen Bees Junior Varsity Volleyball team in 2013. Kelly was a member of the
St. Ambrose JV volleyball team her freshman and sophomore years, but incurring
multiple concussions during the 2012 season ended her playing career.
Kellyís freshman season ended with a record of 19-7, while her sophomore season
ended 22-3. Because of her love of the sport and being part of a team, Kelly has
joined the Queen Bees as an Assistant Coach.
Kelly graduated from Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago, Ill.,
in 2011. While attending Mother McAuley, she was a member of various
organizations and played volleyball for the Mighty Macs. Kelly has played for
various club teams throughout her career, making multiple national appearances.
Kellyís first coaching job was at her grammar school, St. Christina School in
Chicago, Ill., where she coached the eighth grade team.
At. St. Ambrose, Kelly is majoring in Sports Management and is hoping to work
with the Chicago Blackhawks sometime shortly after graduating in the spring of
2015. Kelly is very grateful for this wonderful opportunity to help coach and
learn different styles and techniques of coaching, all while supporting her
team. She is excited to be a part of the coaching staff and is looking forward
to helping the JV team have another successful, winning season.
JV Coach Nate Royer
Nate Royer begins his first season with the Queen Bees JV team in 2013.
JV Coach Ryan Mahl
Ryan Mahl begins his first season with the Queen Bees JV team in 2013.