Distinguished Alumni 2011: Karen Chisum

Chisum shows young women how to
reach high, build pride, truly win

An image of Karen Chisum.

Karen Chisum

A name synonymous with volleyball at Texas State, Karen Chisum entered her 32nd season as the Bobcats’ head coach ranked sixth among active NCAA Division I coaches with 716 career victories at the start of the 2011 season. She is one of only 19 Division I volleyball coaches to record 700 wins. In addition to her success on the court, she also serves as an assistant athletics director.

Chisum assumed her head coaching duties in 1980 and has led the Bobcats to seven NCAA Tournament berths, six conference championships and seven conference tournament titles during her tenure. She was chosen Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 1991, 2000 and 2003. Chisum also was named the Gulf Star Conference Coach of the Year in 1986.

During her coaching career at Texas State, Chisum has produced three Conference Players of the Year, three Newcomers of the Year, 80 All-Conference players, 58 Conference All-Academic Team members and 34 SLC All-Tournament selections, including six tournament MVPs. She also coached one a Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America Third-Team selection and three Academic All-District players.

Chisum was a standout tennis and softball player at Texas State and has the distinction of being the first woman inducted into the “T” Association Hall of Honor, the highest honor a Bobcat student-athlete can receive. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1972 and master’s degree in 1978 at Texas State.

The university will recognize five new Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming this week. With the newest honorees, Texas State has now presented its most prestigious award to 169 graduates since the first was given to Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1959.

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