Head Coach Steve Yarnell
Contact Information for Coach Yarnell
Office phone: 419-358-3223
Coach Steve Yarnell will be entering his 12th season as head coach of the Bluffton University volleyball program. He is also an associate professor in the health, fitness and sport science department.
In his fifth season at the helm, Yarnell led the team to an overall record of 27-6, including a spotless 8-0 mark in the Heartland Conference. The Beavers clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament with a thrilling five-set victory over MSJ in the HCAC Tournament finals at Bluffton University. After finishing in a five-way tie for first place in the HCAC during the 2011 campaign, Bluffton became the first-ever sixth seed to run the table and win the Heartland Conference tournament when the Beavers earned their second NCAA Regional appearance in five years a season ago. Bluffton followed that with a 7-2 HCAC mark in 2014 that culminated with a second consecutive Heartland Conference tournament title and trip to the NCAA Regionals at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. The Beavers made it a Heartland Conference tournament three-peat with a sweep at Hanover in 2015, earning a spot at Juniata Regional where Bluffton fell to eventual NCAA runner-up Wittenberg in four sets.
Yarnell graduated from the University of Findlay in 2003 with a bachelor's of science degree in physical education. He also completed his master's degree from Findlay in 2005 in education with a technology emphasis.
Prior to assuming the role as head coach for the Bluffton University volleyball team, Yarnell was the first assistant coach for the men's and women's volleyball programs at the University of Findlay in 2004. Before that, Yarnell was the graduate assistant for the men's volleyball team at Findlay.
Yarnell was a varsity volleyball player at Findlay from 2000-03. He was honored as academic all-conference his junior and senior seasons as well as being named to two all-tournament teams as a player during his career. Yarnell was also a gold medal winner for the United States volleyball squad at the Australia Down Under Games.
He has been highly active in the local volleyball scene as he worked extensively with volleyball camps and local volleyball clubs. Yarnell, an Impact and CAP level 1 certified coach, is a member of USA Volleyball and the American Volleyball Coaches Association. He directs numerous camps and clinics at Bluffton University and at high school campuses throughout the state.
Coach Yarnell and his wife, Kelly, reside in Bluffton with their nine-year-old daughter, Gracie, six-year-old son, Toby, and infant son, Brady.
Assistant Coach Samantha Granger
Contact Information for Coach GRANGER
Office phone: 419-358-3225
Samantha Granger is entering her first season at Bluffton as the assistant volleyball coach.
Granger was a four- year starter at The University of Findlay from 2011-2014. At the University of Findlay Granger played both as an outside and a defensive specialist. During her senior year the Oilers made it to the GLIAC semifinals. Granger holds the Findlay record for service aces at 123, as well as service aces per set at 0.29.
While at Findlay, Granger majored in Healthcare Management and will continue on to pursue her MBA in Healthcare.
Assistant Coach Erin Oberly
Erin Oberly is entering her third season as assistant coach for Bluffton University.
Oberly, a 2009 graduate, was a four-year letter-winner for NCAA Division III Muskingum College. She garnered Academic All-OAC Honorable Mention accolades in 2006 and 2007, and was named to the All-OAC Academic Team in 2008. Oberly served as a two-year captain for the Fighting Muskies, and helped lead them to a 23-7 overall, 6-3 OAC finish in 2008, as well as a trip to the NCAA National Tournament. In the spring of 2009, Oberly received the Greg Riggar Dedication to Sport Award. Throughout college, Oberly has served as a volleyball camp instructor for both Muskingum College and Bluffton University.
In May 2009, Oberly graduated with a B.A. in English and a minor in speech communication. She is now certified to teach English/Language Arts in grades 7-12, after earning her master's degree in education from Bluffton in 2011. Most recently, Oberly was the varsity volleyball coach for Bluffton High School in 2012 and 2013.
Oberly currently resides in Tampa, Fla. with her husband Tyler.