Head Coach: Matt Gropel
Coach Matt Gropel joined Black Hawk College in 2019 as an assistant coach and was named the Braves’ head volleyball coach in January 2022.
Gropel also is the associate club director at Platform Elite Volleyball Club in Bettendorf, IA, where he has coached multiple teams in all age divisions since 2016.
He is an active member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and is an IMPACT-certified (Increased Mastery and Professional Application of Coaching Theory) coach through USA Volleyball.
As a new coach, Gropel was paired with Jim Dietz, the award-winning head coach of the Lincoln Land Community College Loggers, through the AVCA mentorship program.
Gropel’s interest in volleyball sparked when one of his daughters, a sixth-grader at the time, came home from school and announced that she wanted to play volleyball. The fast action of the game quickly hooked Gropel. He has enjoyed watching his daughters progress from humble 12u beginnings through the rapid, precision-skilled pace of college volleyball – two of them played collegiately.
In 1994, Gropel graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in computer information science. Currently he is pursuing a master’s degree in sport psychology through Capella University.
Assistant Coach: Payten Smith