Mark Lee completed his eighth season as head coach of the OLLU women's volleyball team. This past season, he led the team to its best season ever with an 18-12 overall record and 11-2 in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Saints' two losses were to eventual NAIA runner-up University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). The Saints took UTB to five sets in the teams' first matchup in 2014 -- the only Red River opponent to do that. The two teams met in the championship match, where the Saints lost 3-0.
In seven of eight seasons, Lee guided his teams to postseason berths. In the team's second season, they reached the championship match in the independent conference. In 2009, as the No. 5 seed, the Saints made it to the semifinals round and finished their season with a 16-13 overall and 11-6 conference records. The following season, Lee led the Saints to a 13-5 overall and 11-3 conference record. As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, they reached the semifinals round. In 2011, the Saints faced nationally ranked Wayland Baptist University, Lubbock Christian University, Friends University, Dordt College, Biola University, Master's College, Vanguard University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Embry Riddle University and conference rival, University of Texas at Brownsville. The tough schedule saw them take an early 1-14 record, but the women came back to finish at 9-18 overall, but with an impressive 7-2 conference record. The Saints' two losses came via No. 1 NAIA powerhouse UT-Brownsville and nationally ranked Wiley College. The team lost to St. Thomas in the conference tournament quarterfinals. In 2012, the team finished in fourth place in the Red River Athletic Conference and suffered a tough loss in the conference tournament quarterfinals against Texas Wesleyan University. The Saints fought hard, but lost 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 27-25). The team's overall record was 14-18 and 8-3 in the conference. In 2013, Lee took his team to the semifinals as the No. 4 seed. They finished out the season with an overall 15-12 and a 9-4 conference record. His overall record with OLLU is 102-105 and 59-22 in the Red River Athletic Conference.
In addition to his teams' successes, 40 of Lee's players have earned all-conference honors, one received newcomer of the year, six have been named Academic All-Americans, six netted NAIA scholar recognition, and 50 secured conference scholar athlete awards.
Prior to coming to OLLU, Lee spent eight years coaching at the community college level. He was head coach for five seasons for the men's volleyball team at Santa Monica College in California. His team record improved in each of the five seasons. In addition to coaching at Santa Monica College, Mark Lee was also an assistant coach at Pierce College for three years. While at Pierce, the team won three state championships in a row and two conference championships.
After receiving his high school diploma from Hart High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., Lee attended Pierce College, where he received an Associate of Arts degree and also played volleyball under the instruction of coaching legend Ken "Big Daddy" Stanley. In 2001, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Cal State University Northridge. He also played Division I volleyball at CSUN for two years. Lee completed his master's degree in Kinesiology from CSUN. He also worked as a certified personal trainer for two years and has coached club volleyball for eight years.
Mark and his wife Katharyn are the parents of two children.
Lance Pulliam has joined the Our Lady of the Lake University coaching staff as assistant volleyball coach.
Pulliam began his coaching career in the fall of 2008 as a volunteer coach for Wichita State University. After coaching a little more than half of the season for the Shockers, Pulliam returned home to Texas due to a death in the family. From 2011-2013, Pulliam coached on the club level at SA Magic. In the summer of 2013, his men’s indoor team competed for the adult USAV National Championship in the A Division. The team defeated the United States All-Armed Forces Team in two sets. He was awarded all-tournament team honors and the MVP award.
Pulliam started playing volleyball at the age of 11 with the San Antonio Volleyball Association. As a middle blocker, he earned All-American honors during his club years, and his team earned back-to-back bronze medals. Pulliam received a scholarship to play volleyball for Newman University in Wichita, Kan. The team made it to two NAIA National Championships, and he earned All-Conference honors. After Newman cut the men’s team, Pulliam transferred to Park University and played his last season of volleyball for the Pirates. During that season, the Pirates won the NAIA National Championship on their home floor defeating five-time champs California Baptist University.
Pulliam provides one-on-one volleyball lessons, and he is the owner of Nolley, a sand volleyball company. He continues to play in local sand tournaments and enjoys photography.
The NAIA Champions of Character program aims to instill five core values in NAIA athletes, coaches: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. Our Lady of the Lake University shares and supports these values and strives to promote the Champions of Character program by working with students, coaches through our Champions of Character educational program. For more information on the Champions of Character program, click on the logo below: www.championsofcharacter.org.