Lady Tops VB’s Coach Hudson to be Inducted into Distinguished Hall of Alumni
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Volleyball veteran head coach Travis Hudson, along with John Asher and Dr. Jack Britt as members of the 29th induction class to Western Kentucky University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni on Friday, October 9.
A 1994 graduate of WKU, Hudson earned a degree in business management with a marketing emphasis. A year later, the Bee Spring, Ky., native was named the head coach of the WKU Volleyball program, making him the youngest head coach in the nation at the time. Prior to taking the reins, Hudson had worked with the program since the early 1990s, serving as an assistant coach for three years and was interim head coach on two occasions.
His first team finished with a 7-26 record and the next two teams went 18-17 and 9-22. Then in 1998, the team posted a 26-10 record and has never finished below .500 since, as Hudson has built WKU into a championship-caliber program that has appeared in 12 NCAA Tournaments since 2002.
Hudson’s Hilltoppers earned 10 Sun Belt Conference regular-season championships and five conference tournament championships. Since joining Conference USA in 2014, WKU Volleyball has won five of six possible regular season and tournament championships.
In 2018, WKU Volleyball posted its 19th straight 20-win season, and Hudson earned his 600th win as head coach. In 2019 the team made history again by reaching the 30-win mark for the eighth time in 10 seasons and earning the No. 15 national seed. More than 9,500 fans attended the first-ever NCAA Volleyball Tournament matches held in Diddle Arena. WKU closed with a 32-2 record to secure the team’s best-ever season winning percentage of .941.
After the 2019 season, Hudson was named the AVCA South Region Coach of the Year for the sixth time of his career and won conference Coach of the Year honors for the eighth time.
WKU’s success on and off the court has been a labor of love for Hudson, dating back to his days as a student at WKU. Prior to assuming the head coaching duties for the Lady Toppers in 1995, he served as an assistant coach for two years with Mark Hardaway, who left The Hill to take the head coaching position at Evansville, and one campaign under Jeff Hulsmeyer, former head coach at Purdue. Hudson also served as WKU’s interim head coach on two occasions, once after Hulsmeyer left for Arkansas State in 1991 and again in the spring of 1995 following the departure of Hardaway. Later that year, Hudson was named the head coach at WKU where he has amassed an overall record of 642-15 since.
A featured clinician, Hudson has developed a reputation as one of the best coaches in the game. He has directed and staffed various volleyball camps both at the collegiate and high school levels throughout the region, including the WKU Volleyball Camp that he founded in the summer of 2000. He has also spent time as a member of the polling committee for AVCA Top 25 rankings. In the summer of 2017, Hudson received a call from USA Volleyball, inviting the veteran head coach to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to help guide the USA Women’s Junior National Training Team (WJNTT). Hudson accepted and worked with the squad gearing up for the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship. Following the 2018-19 school year, Hudson worked with USA Volleyball for the second time. For a week in late June, Hudson traveled to Anaheim, Calif., to help coach the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team.
Hudson’s love for WKU extends far beyond the volleyball program and athletics department as he’s spoken across campus for countless ceremonies including numerous freshman welcome convocations. Recognized in the community as well, Hudson has helped make WKU Volleyball a household name.
Hudson married the former Cindy Wiseman, a Lady Topper Volleyball alum, would who go on to graduate from the University of Louisville’s School of Allied Health with a degree in physical therapy. Travis and Cindy have two sons, Tyler and Andrew. Tyler is currently a freshman on The Hill.