EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon volleyball program lost an irreplaceable member Wednesday, as former volunteer assistant coach Matt Hartner passed away in his sleep Aug. 13. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
“My heart goes out to Matt’s parents Jim and Caroline, and his sisters Jamie and Julie,” said Oregon head coach Jim Moore. “Not many people are more a part of this program than the Hartner family. Matt was here before me, and the first dinner I had in Eugene was with Matt Hartner. The staff and I have lost a great friend. I don’t think we can begin to imagine how much we’ll miss him. What we can do to honor him is be the best we can be; he would be proud of that.”
Hartner, 30, had played an integral role with Oregon volleyball since he joined the team as an undergraduate manager in 2002. He remained with the program throughout his time as a student at Oregon until he graduated in 2006, serving as an undergraduate assistant coach during his final year.
While Hartner was always a constant with Oregon volleyball, he officially rejoined the staff for the 2009 season as a volunteer assistant after leading the Mt. Hood Community College volleyball team in 2008.
The following year, Hartner became an assistant coach at Gresham High School in 2010, while continuing to grow Oregon’s annual MLK Team Classic Tournament.
Hartner was a staple of Oregon volleyball for more than a decade, going through the ups and downs of the program; from winning only three matches during the 2003 season, seeing a change in coaching staff as Moore took the helm in 2005, all the way to sharing memories while traveling during Oregon’s historic run to the National Championship in 2012.