NEW LONDON, Conn. – Coast Guard Academy women's volleyball head coach Aylene Ilkson is leaving the Academy to become an assistant coach at Dartmouth College.
In two seasons with the Bears, Ilkson led Coast Guard to a record of 41-21, a .661 winning percentage, while guiding the Bears to a pair of berths in the semifinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament.
"It has been an absolute privilege to be the coach here at the Academy the past two seasons. The volleyball team has had a long legacy of success which I am thrilled to have been a part of," said Ilkson. "It is with sadness and excitement that I begin the next chapter of my coaching career in the Ivy League. I want to thank Tim Fitzpatrick, the CGA athletics administration and my fellow coaches for helping to create an amazing environment for my first head coaching experience. "
Last year, the Bears finished 19-12 and upset third-seeded Springfield 3-0 in the first round of the NEWMAC tournament winning as a sixth-seeded in the tournament for the second straight season. The Bears were the first ever sixth seed to win a NEWMAC tournament volleyball game in 2013 under Ilkson.
"We're very grateful to coach Ilkson for her two seasons of dedicated service to CGA, and certainly extend our collective best wishes to her for continued future success," said Coast Guard Director of Athletics Tim Fitzpatrick. "She did a fine job of continuing the winning tradition of Bears volleyball. Her enthusiasm for on-floor coaching and recruiting will serve her very well as she moves into the Division I world at Dartmouth. I have no doubt that she will continue her rapid rise in the coaching profession."
A national search will begin to find the new head coach of the Bears, who have advanced to the NEWMAC tournament semifinals for 14 straight years and will return all 12 players from this year's team.