Tarleton State tabs Tatyana Tuialii-Umi as 1st head coach of new beach volleyball program


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State’s 17th intercollegiate sport will begin competition this spring, and now the Texans have their leader heading into the new era.

Tarleton State announced Monday that Tatyana Tuialii-Umi will be the head coach of their new beach volleyball program, the 17th intercollegiate sport at Tarleton State University and the third added sport since moving to NCAA Division I in July 2020. Tarleton State Beach Volleyball will compete as an affiliate member of Conference USA when its first season begins this upcoming spring.

“This is a brand-new program at our university that deserves an elite coach to set the foundation, and I believe Tatyana Tuialii-Umi is the perfect person to lead our new beach volleyball team,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman said. “Tuialii-Umi is no stranger to us, we know exactly the kind of coach and person she is. She is also highly recommended from in-house and her other stops, and I’m excited to see her build this program from a solid foundation and flourish for years to come.”

Tuialii-Umi has several years of experience in Stephenville with the Tarleton volleyball program, including two years on the coaching staff. She also is a former All-Conference beach volleyball student-athlete herself.

“I love the fact that beach volleyball is gaining more exposure at the collegiate level, and it is exciting that Tarleton is officially a part of it next spring,” Tuialii-Umi said. “I look forward to building and growing this program in every and any way that I can.”

Tuialii-Umi has both coached (2020, 2022) and played at Tarleton (2018-19) across four years, all under Texan Volleyball head coach Mary Schindler. Tuialii-Umi also played for beach volleyball legend Misty May-Treanor, a three-time Olympic gold medalist for the United States in the sport from 2004-2012.

“Taty has a background in beach, paired with a nose for coaching that makes her the perfect choice to start the beach volleyball program,” Schindler said. “She will be great at player development and teaching solid fundamentals of the game. I am excited to see her thrive as a coach, just as she did as a player.”

As a player at Tarleton, Tuialii-Umi was a major part of the 2018 squad that won Tarleton’s first NCAA South Central regional championship in school history. She landed 10+ kills in seven different matches including the Texans’ final two postseason matches.

She had a career year in her final season with the Texans in 2019. She was named an AVCA Honorable Mention and D2CCA Second Team All-Region player, as well as All-Lone Star Conference First Team. She was a force at the net, landing 412 kills on .228 hitting and had 85 total blocks. She recorded 10-plus kills in 25 different matches, and 15-plus kills in 11 matches.
In her two-year career at Tarleton, Tuialii-Umi landed 637 kills on a .243 hit percentage. She led the Texans to back-to-back NCAA regional tournament appearances over their final two seasons in NCAA Division II, scoring 731 total points in her Tarleton career.

Prior to coming to Tarleton, the Bell, California, native, was a standout for Long Beach Community College and South Gate High School. At Long Beach CC, she was All-Conference First Team in both beach volleyball and indoor volleyball, plus she was the South Coast Conference Pairs champion for beach volleyball.

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