Former Hill College head volleyball coach named director of operations
Bears promote director of operations to assistant coach
Former Iowa State outside hitter joins Baylor to focus on faith-oriented atmosphere
Mark Pryor, who is in his fourth season at Baylor, was promoted to associate head coach/recruiting coordinator for his instrumental role in Baylor's coaching and recruiting efforts. Pryor was hired on Feb. 23, 2010, after spending the previous two seasons as head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce. While handling a large portion of the program's recruiting, Pryor's versatility and experience as a coach is an asset to head coach Jim Barnes' staff on the court and in practice.
As recruiting coordinator, Pryor has pieced together two-straight top-20 recruiting classes: The 2013 group ranked No. 19 in the country while the 2012 freshman class was selected No. 16 in the country by PrepVolleyball.com.
Pryor saw three players earn 2012 All-Big 12 honors and helped the Bears to their first 20-win season since he joined the staff.
In 2011, Pryor helped guide Baylor to its second NCAA Tournament in three years and its fourth-consecutive winning season. In his first year at Baylor, Pryor was instrumental in helping the Bears lead the Big 12 and rank third nationally in digs per set. In addition, BU recorded its third consecutive-winning record for the first time in 10 years at 16-15. Baylor also earned nine conference wins for the third year in a row, marking the first team to accomplish that feat in school history.
A 15-year collegiate coaching veteran and 1995 Baylor graduate, Pryor started his collegiate career at Louisiana-Monroe (1997-98) as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator while earning his master's degree from the school. He then served as the head coach at North Central Texas College for two seasons (1998-99), before spending one season as a volunteer assistant at New Mexico State (1999) and one year with USA Volleyball (2001). Pryor spent two seasons (2001-02) as the head coach at Southwest Baptist and two seasons (2003-04) as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Boise State before moving back to ULM as the head coach during the 2005 season. Pryor served as the head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce in 2008-09.
During his two seasons at Commerce, Pryor made an immediate impact leading the program to the top half of the Lone Star Conference for the first time since 2002. The 2008 Lions finished the season 15-11 and seventh in the 14-team Lone Star Conference. Pryor's libero earned LSC Libero of the Year honors, and he saw four additional players earn all-LSC selections. In 2009, Pryor took the program to new heights leading the Lions to a 25-10 record and a fourth-place LSC finish. The 25 wins was the program's best season in 22 years while the Lions had the conference Libero of the Year, Lauren Flynn, for the second year in a row and four more All-LSC selections. For his efforts, Pryor was named the 2009 LSC Coach of the Year, while also guiding Flynn become the program's first-ever All-American. Pryor's student-athletes also excelled in the classroom, with Flynn earning academic All-LSC honors and six others earning LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll accolades.
While at Louisiana-Monroe, Pryor broke 11 school records, posted the school's first non-losing season in 19 years and recorded double-digit wins for the first time in 14 years. He was named the 2005 Southland Conference Coach of the Year and recruited the 2005 and 2006 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Newcomer of the Year.
At Boise State, Pryor played an integral role in the improvement of the program on the court while his recruiting efforts brought in two all-Western Athletic Conference selections as well as the first-ever Volleyball Magazine `Fab 50' recruit.
While at Southwest Baptist, Pryor revitalized a program that experienced a 10-win improvement from the previous season and was ranked 12th nationally in blocks per game. He was involved in the entire development of the program including recruiting, training, fund raising, budget implementation, public relations and marketing.
Prior to his start in collegiate coaching, Pryor spent one season as the head volleyball coach at Edward S. Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas and one season at The Dunham School in Baton Rouge, La., earning District Coach of the Year honors at each stint.
A 1995 graduate of Baylor, Pryor played on the men's club volleyball team before going on to earn his master's degree in public relations/communication from Louisiana-Monroe.