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Coaching Staff

Emily Witsaman
Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator

Emily Witsaman was named GCU women’s volleyball assistant coach in January of 2018.

Witsaman comes to GCU from Upper Iowa, where she helped direct the Peacocks to a 21-9 mark.  Before her time at UIU, she spent two seasons as a graduate assistant with the volleyball program at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio.

The Berg went 50-16 over Witsaman’s tenure and notched a 17-1 record in the OAC reaching the NCAA Regional Tournament twice and claiming the OAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship in 2015.

Prior to her successful run with the Heidelberg coaching staff, Witsaman was a four-year letter winner for the Retrievers of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, an NCAA Division I institution and a member of the America East Conference. As a senior, she was named to the America East All-Conference first team as a middle blocker after finishing the season with the second best hitting percentage in the conference (.295) and leading the team to a runner-up finish in the America East Tournament. As a junior, Witsaman led the conference in blocks and closed out her career with the Retrievers ranked sixth in program history in block assists and tenth in total blocks. She also kept busy off the court serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, Executive Board and also earned a spot on the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll as a senior.

A native of Medina, Ohio, Witsaman graduated from Medina High School before attending UMBC. She completed her Master's degree in business administration from Heidelberg.  She is also a graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy Class 43.


Jake Hong
Assistant Coach

Hong was named GCU assistant coach in March of 2019.  He comes to GCU with over 10 years of coaching experience, including collegiate stops at West Virginia, High Point, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.

Most recently at WVU (2017-2018), Hong helped West Virginia collected 21 wins in a single-season for the first time since 1991 and advanced to the postseason for the second time in program history, reaching the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Semifinals.

Hong went to West Virginia after spending four seasons at High Point (2013-16), aiding the Panthers to a 73-51 overall record, including back-to-back 20-win seasons in his last two years. He also helped HPU to its second-ever Big South Conference Championship, locking up a spot in the 2016 NCAA Tournament in his final season as a Panther. Hong coached 12 All-Big South performers, including the 2013 and 2015 Big South Freshman of the Year honorees. He also produced one Big South Scholar Athlete of the Year award winner during his tenure. Serving as the recruiting coordinator, he helped HPU land one of the top-50 2015 classes in the country according to PrepVolleyball.com.

Prior to his four-year stint at High Point, Hong coached at the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club since 2004 and served as the director from 2010-13. He coached 30 players who went on to earn Division I scholarships, including Stanford All-American Carly Wopat. As head coach, Hong won four USA Junior National Medals and coached nine USA Junior National All-Tournament players.

Hong also volunteered for two seasons at UC Santa Barbara (2004-05), helping the Gauchos to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament. Of note, the Gauchos advanced to the second round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. He also assisted in coaching two All-Americans, Kristin Nelson and Janine Sandell, while at Santa Barbara.

Additionally, Hong spent two seasons as a volunteer at Cal Poly, where he coached five All-Big West players and helped the team reach the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. While with the Mustangs, he also coached the women's club volleyball team.

A native of San Jose, California, Hong earned his bachelor’s degree in special programs with a concentration of humanities from UNC Greensboro.


Abby Saehler
Director of Volleyball Operations

Saehler was named GCU women's volleyball Director of Operations in March of 2019.

Saehler most recently spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Concordia (Neb.). She is a graduate of Wingate University (North Carolina) and played collegiately for the Bulldogs. She was a two-time AVCA All-American and earned three Southeast All-Region awards.