Friday, March 11, 2016

Rotations: A New Blog Series from the AVCA

By Kayla Pickrell


It is well known that after the women’s season ends each fall, there’s a shift in the collegiate volleyball world: coaches get fired or resign; administrators go on a hunt, recruiting some candidates, fighting off others; hires create new vacancies and the cycle repeats. Before you know it, a lot of coaches have changed jobs. In fact, AVCA sees about 60 percent of its annual Career Center jobs filled between mid-November of one year and the end of February of the next.

While this ritual repeats on a regular cycle, it is far from routine. Each job has a unique story, a “why now,” a “how” and a “why there?” Our goal is to share these stories in a way that enlightens and entertains. We will call this blog Rotations, a less than subtle nod to one of the distinctive tenets of our sport.

Where to start? We had 162 listings in our Career Center last year. We chose the top: there are 62 head coaching jobs in BCS schools. This cycle, six, almost 10 percent, changed leaders.

Shane Davis is introduced as the new head women's coach at Northwestern
Why did Shane Davis move, after 18 years and back-to-back NCAA championships, from the men’s game at Loyola to the head coach of Northwestern’s women’s team?

What drew Linda Hampton-Keith to NC State when she passed on several options?

Why did Jason Watson leave a successful Arizona State program to take up residence in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and what convinced Stevie Mussie to replace him and start her head coaching career in the wickedly competitive Pac 12? How do Jesse Mahoney and Tony Graystone plan to build successful programs at Colorado and Texas Tech, respectively?

Linda Hampton-Keith has taken over at NC State
In the next few months, Rotations will share their stories.

Through this new blog series, we will highlight, celebrate and share the successes of these coaches and solicit their advice on how to approach the professional journey.