Fairfax, Va.—George Mason assistant vice president and director of athletics Brad Edwards has named Aylene Ilkson as the seventh head women's volleyball coach in the program's 43-year history.
Ilkson has seven seasons of experience coaching collegiate volleyball, including two seasons (2013, 2014) at the helm for the United States Coast Guard Academy. The former Division III All-America outside hitter led the Bears to a 41-21 record over two seasons with back-to-back appearances in the semifinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament.
Prior to joining Mason, she served as the director of volleyball operations for the 2016 ACC Champion North Carolina. The Tarheels finished the season 29-4 and advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinal before bowing out to #10 UCLA.
"I'm excited to welcome Aylene Ilkson to Mason Nation," said Edwards. "With her experience and success as a young head coach and her history with winning programs as a coach and a student-athlete, it became clear in our national search that Aylene was a great fit for our volleyball program."
A 2009 graduate of Springfield College, Ilkson spent three seasons (2010-12) as an assistant at her alma mater and a one-year stint as an assistant coach at Dartmouth College (2015). Ilkson was the top assistant at Springfield, where she led her alma mater to an 82-12 record, three straight NCAA appearances, including an NCAA Elite Eight appearance, and a NEWMAC title in 2011. While in New Hampshire, Ilkson led the Big Green to a 9-5 Ivy League record, the most conference wins in Dartmouth history, and a third-place conference finish.
"I am excited and honored to be a part of the Mason family," said Ilkson. "From the moment I stepped on campus I knew it was a special place with so much to offer. I see a lot of potential with the women in this program and I am looking forward to getting to work with them."
The Baldwin, N.Y. native served as the volunteer assistant for the Springfield men's volleyball program, where she helped lead the Pride to the 2012 Division III National Championship.
A four-year starter at Springfield College, Ilkson led the Pride to a 108-31 record and the 2008 NEWMAC Conference title. A two-time All-NEWMAC Second Team and AVCA All-New England Team selection, she earned AVCA Division III All-America honors as a senior in 2008. The three-time captain for the Pride is third all-time in digs (1,593), fourth in digs per game (3.54) and in the top 10 in career kills at Springfield.
Ilkson graduated in 2009 with a B.S.E. in movement and sports studies and earned a master's degree in athletic administration from Springfield in 2012.