Volleyball community mourns the passing of Benedictine coach Christian Staple

Christian Staple, the head men’s volleyball coach Benedictine University and an assistant coach at Future Volleyball Club who previously served as a coach at Sports Performance VBC and McKendree University, passed away July 7 at he age of 31.

The volleyball community and the Benedictine University family are mourning the loss of head men’s volleyball coach Christian Staple.

Staple, 31, suffered a devastating stroke on Tuesday, July 5, and passed away two days later surrounded by loved ones.

Staple was named the head coach at Benedictine University in 2021, succeeding Dan Buehring, who had served as the head coach since the school established a men’s program in 2015. Staple had served as an assistant for both men’s and women’s programs at McKendree University prior to joining Benedictine.

In his first season as head coach at Benedictine, he guided the Eagles to the national championship match against No. 1 ranked Carthage College. Despite 20 kills from Jacob Grygo (Addison Trail) and 12 from Chase Olson (Naperville North), Benedictine fell to Carthage, 23-25, 25-17, 20-25, 26-24, 15-10.

At the end of that season, Staple was named Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year and saw two of his players earn All-American status.

“Coach Staple understood and exemplified the values of our community,” said Benedictine University President Charles Gregory. “He will be remembered fondly for his commitment to the University, the Athletic department and our student-athletes.

“We have lost a valued colleague, coach and friend.  While each of us grieve at the passing of one of our own, we also grieve for the loss his family and friends suffer.  Our hearts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.”

Staple was the recipient of the 2017 AVCA Diversity Award which recognizes coaches for leadership skills, professional development and promoting inclusivity.  Originally from the Chicagoland area, he also served as a coach at Sports Performance and as an assistant at North Central College. 

This past club season, Staple served as a coach at Future Volleyball Club in Carol Stream.

“Staple was a beloved member of our family this past season and a dear friend of so many members of our staff, alumni and current players,” read a statement from Future Volleyball Club. “His impact on the volleyball community spread far and wide, and his love for the game and the people around him had no bounds.

“He worked with athletes across the nation and made lasting memories with everybody he crossed paths with. Thank you from all of the Future Family to a man who cared so much for the volleyball community and touched the lives of so many people. You will never be forgotten.”

A GoFundMe page has been established to pay for costs associated with a memorial. All remaining monies will be used to create a scholarship fund in Staple’s honor. If you would like to help, follow the link below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/christian-staple?utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

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