Head Volleyball Coach
Coach Laurie Kelly is entering her tenth season at the helm of the volleyball program at RMC. Last season under Coach Kelly's leadership, the Battlin' Bears made their fifth trip in six years to the NAIA National Tournament. Kelly was selected 2014 Frontier Conference Coach of the Year and Northwest Region Coach of the Year. The Battlin’ Bears were Frontier Conference Champions the last three seasons and earned automatic bids into the National Volleyball Tournament. Last season the team garnished the honors of setter of the year, libero of the year, and player of the year. Three seniors were selected as NAIA All-Americans.
Previously, Coach Kelly spent two seasons as head volleyball coach at Miles Community College in Miles City, where she was given the task of starting a new volleyball program for the Pioneers.
Kelly was also the head volleyball coach at Roundup High School for 19 years compiling a 456-167 record with a winning percentage of 74 percent. Laurie has been the Montana Coaches Association (MCA) Coach of the Year five times and nominated as a finalist for Regional and National High School Volleyball Coach of the Year. In the last nine years at Roundup, her teams won five state championships including four in a row, 2000 through 2003, a second place finish as well as three third place finishes at the state tournament.
In 2005, Coach Kelly was inducted in the MCA Hall of Fame. She is also in the Hall of Fame at Bemidji State University as a field hockey player for being part of the nationally ranked teams of 1979, 1980, and 1981. She is also inducted in her high school Hall of Fame as an athlete and educator. In 1997, she was selected "Montana Teacher of the Year" from the Milken Family Foundation in California.
Assistant Volleyball Coach
Coach Sarah Irigoin is entering her fifth season as the assistant varsity volleyball coach and head JV volleyball coach at RMC. Irigoin, a 2009 graduate of Rocky Mountain College, was a two-sport athlete for the Battlin' Bears, playing point guard on the basketball team for three seasons and playing outside hitter for the volleyball team for four seasons. As a volleyball player, Irigoin was a 1st team all-conference performer in 2009 and was a recipient of the AVCA Academic Award. Following her career at RMC, Irigoin went on to play in a club professional league in Barcelona, Spain, under head coach Mariano Singer.
Irigoin graduated in 2005 from Seeley-Swan High School in Seeley Lake, Mont., where she earned all-state honors in volleyball, basketball, and track. She graduated from RMC in the spring of 2009 with a bachelor's of science in exercise science and her master's in health administration. Irigoin was married in July 2012 to her husband Ryan, who is a teacher in Billings, and they have a 1-year-old son named Marshall.
Assistant Volleyball Coach
Yang Yang, from Yong An, China, is a 2015 graduate form Rocky Mountain college earning a degree in Exercise Science. Yang, a 6’0” middle blocker helped lead Rocky to a number one ranking in the nation and led the country in blocks. Yang is a two time NAIA All-American, all-region, all-conference, and academic all-conference player for both years at Rocky. She was selected National NAIA volleyball player of the week. Yang was selected to the all-tournament team at the national tournament and was selected Frontier Conference player of the year. Yang had over 1,000 kills in the two short years at RMC. Yang, a NJCAA All-American, came to Rocky from North Idaho College where she also led the Cardinals to two National NJCAA tournaments. This past season she was an assistant coach for the Battlin’ Bear program.