Karlis Dunens was named the head coach of the volleyball program in 2021. He comes to the Mountaineers after five successful seasons as an assistant coach with the Elon University volleyball program.
In his first season leading the Mountaineers, Dunes posted an overall record of 20-12 and 12-4 in USA South Athletic Conference play. Under the coaching direction of Dunes, senior Fabiana De Jesús was named USA South Libero of the Year in addition to named to the First Team West Division. Sophomore Deanna De La Torre also earned First Team West Division honors and senior Carolina Robles was selected to the Second Team West Divison.
At Elon, Dunens worked primarily with the team’s defense while also coordinating team travel and assisting with recruiting efforts. During his tenure, the Phoenix reached the CAA Conference Tournament for the first time in school history in 2017 and reached the tournament semifinals in 2019. Players also enjoyed individual success and earned the school’s first AVCA All-American Award Winner (Honorable Mention) and CAA Conference Player of the Year award and 2nd team All-Conference in 2020, 1st team All-Conference and NCAA multi-year APR award in 2019, 3rd team All-Conference in and CAA All-Rookie team selections including a PrepVB Honorable Mention recruiting class in 2018, CAA Rookie of the Year and a 1st team All-Conference selection in 2017, and a 3rd team All-Conference selection in 2016. The team also excelled in the classroom and earned AVCA Team Academic Awards in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021 for their cumulative team GPA above a 3.4.
During the 2015 season, Dunens served as a Volunteer Assistant Coach at the University of Memphis, helping the team to a 19-14 overall record. While with the Tigers, he was responsible for training the middle blockers, coordinating blocking schemes and strategies and scouting opposing offenses.
Prior to Memphis, Dunens was an Assistant Volleyball Coach at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, from 2011-15. He trained five All-America selections and 11 All-Conference selections while with the Pirates, coaching the team to the NCAA DIII first round in 2011 and 2012 and to the second round in 2013. The Pirates went a combined 107-37 in his four years as an assistant. In the classroom, the team earned AVCA Team Academic Awards in 2011, 2012, and 2015 as well as a coveted NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for one of the standout student-athletes.
Dunens spent the 2010 season as an assistant coach at the University of Houston, helping coach the team to a 19-13 record, which was a 10-win improvement from the previous season. That season UH had two players earn first team all-conference honors. With the Cougars, he helped train players during practices and served as the team’s video, travel and camp coordinator.
Dunens moved to Houston after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Jacksonville State. In 2009, he helped guide the Gamecocks to a 27-8 record, an Ohio Valley Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Championships, while five members of the squad earned postseason honors. During his two seasons with the Gamecocks, Dunens also planned and organized the program’s volleyball camps.
Prior to Jacksonville State, Dunens was a manager and Volunteer Assistant Coach at Texas A&M from 2006-2008. With the Aggies, he assisted with drills during practice and was in charge of the team and scouting videos.
Dunens played volleyball as a member of the Texas A&M Men’s Club Volleyball team before serving as the coach from 2006-2008. In addition, he was the TAMU Women's Volleyball Club coach from 2003-2005.
Dunens graduated from Texas A&M in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology.
Dunens currently resides in Lexington, KY with his wife, Amanda and two young children.