UK and Transylvania Volleyball connected through coaches' bond

09/27/2016 04:50 PM

They say all is fair and love and recruiting.

“We wanted to see this kid. We saw warm ups, but we wanted to see game play and then the coach didn’t play her,” said Lindsey Gray-Walton.

“And we were the only two on that court recruiting this kid and so we started talking,” Kyle Walton added.

The two met when they were going after the same recruit. Neither got the commit, but they wound up committing to each other. Lindsey is an assistant volleyball coach at UK, Kyle is the head coach at Transylvania University.

In the early stages of their relationship, however, Kyle was an assistant at UofL.

“Our conversations were very interesting. We would talk about our day, but we wouldn’t divulge any information about our days so it was like getting a rough outline of a project or something,” Kyle explained with a smile.

“The funny part would always be recruiting. If kids are coming to visit you they’re usually going to maximize their time on that visit so they’re going to go see a couple of other schools, so I’d be like ‘yeah I have a recruit on Thursday or Friday’ and he was like ‘oh okay cool. we have one on Saturday and it was just kind of one of those ‘uh huh, I know who it is,” Lindsey added.

They agreed that the UK/UofL game that year was one of the most memorable games of their careers and relationship.

“We had a really good team that year and they had a good team but they were kind of struggling right off the bat,” Kyle said.

“We came out that match, we had just gotten smoked the week before by Cincinnati in a non-conference and we kind of were working through some things and came out with a brand new line up, one that they had not seen,” Lindsay explained.

“Basically none of our game plan even existed. I mean, kids were all in different spots and we were like ‘umm what are we supposed to do?‘” Kyle said.

“And we just smoked them and he was like ‘I can’t do anything with a scouting report when I don’t know who is going to be in what position!‘” Lindsay said with a laugh.

Kyle said there was some gloating involved and it wasn’t coming from him.

“I think they won probably 20 of their next 21 after beating us so it was like glad we could help out the situation for you.”

Eventually, Kyle left Louisville to join his wife at Kentucky as an assistant.

“When I got to Louisville we overlapped quite a few and she ended up getting those recruits and then the year later after I got to Kentucky, all those recruits were laughing and glad to see me but would remind me that my wife won out on their recruitment.”

They have a 3-year-old daughter, Berkley. She travels with the teams, spends most of her time at practice and is the unofficial manager for both squads. They say they might have a future volleyball star on their hands.

“She just did the Little Cats Camp so the other night I caught her doing ‘Shape, window, freeze. Right mom? Shape window freeze.’ which is what the terminology is for setters is for key words,” Lindsey laughed.

She even hits the road to help bring in the recruits.

“We basically recruit the same tournaments so, you know, Berkley will come with us- she’s our unofficial recruiter for both of us, you know, she kind of goes up to everybody’s court and introduces herself and kind of starts the process for us,” Kyle added.

They say their pick each other’s brains for new workouts and drills- and Kyle added that he is still Kentucky volleyball’s #1 fan.

Watch the full story below:

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey Gough joined cn2 in August 2016 as a reporter for cn2 Sports. Before that, Lyndsey was a multimedia journalist, reporter, anchor and producer at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, KY covering both news and sports. Lyndsey graduated from the University of Kentucky in May of 2015 after covering the Cats for 3 years for print, radio, and television for various outlets. She is excited to finally be covering sports full-time again here in the Bluegrass. You can follow Lyndsey on Twitter @lgough_cn2 and send story ideas her way.


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