PASCO -- With 10 days before its players report to camp, Columbia Basin College is in the market for a new volleyball coach.
Jon Killingbeck, who replaced Dan Headley at CBC in December, has been hired as the head coach at Division I Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Killingbeck, 28, was recommended for the Iona job by former Gaels head coach Alan Edwards, who left in July after five seasons to take an assistant position at the University of Tennessee.
"Over the last few years, we became friends by just being in the volleyball community," said Killingbeck, a former assistant at Central Washington University, Seattle University, Whitman College and Arizona Western College.
Killingbeck told CBC athletic director Scott Rogers he would interview by telephone, and Iona flew him out earlier this week for an in-person interview. Thursday morning, he informed Rogers he was hired.
The whirlwind won't stop for a while. Killingbeck will return to New York today, four days before Iona players report. The Gaels open their season Aug. 26.
Last year, Iona lost the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship match, missing out on an automatic NCAA tournament bid.
"It's exciting to go somewhere new," said Killingbeck, who grew up in Fife. "It's tough to leave, but this opportunity just does not come knocking twice, so you've got to take it."
Killingbeck said CBC's players know he is leaving.
"I think they understand the situation because for most of them, they're using CBC to try to get to a D-I, so they get it," he said.
Rogers hopes to meet with the players today.
"My first thought after my initial disappointment for them is that they see we're being proactive, that the school's got their best interests at heart," he said.
"As happy as I am for Jon, he's not my concern. My first concern is for the 17 athletes we hope to have on campus next week."
The Hawks don't have a lot of time to fill their coaching vacancy. CBC begins the season Aug. 31 at the Highline Invitational Tournament in Des Moines, but the position must stay open at least a week.
"It takes a special animal to coach at this level for what they get paid," Rogers said. "They have to have real passion for the athlete and helping them achieve their goals."