NCAA: Bama, TCU, USM, UNA hire coaches; AVCA final women’s poll, men’s preseason

Four NCAA Division I women’s volleyball coaching openings — two in the Power 5 — were filled Monday and none included the hiring of current head coaches.

Alabama hired Illinois assistant Rashinda Reed, TCU tabbed Baylor assistant Jason Williams, North Alabama hired Southern Illinois assistant Tristan Johnson, and Southern Miss hired Jenny Hazelwood, the former Mississippi State coach who has been out of college coaching.

Three Power 5 jobs remain open, at Iowa, LSU, and Notre Dame, and so do more than 20 others in Division I. 

The final AVCA Poll came out Monday. Wisconsin is No. 1 and congratulations Miami, which finally made it into the last regular-season poll and stayed in at No. 25.

The AVCA men’s preseason poll also came out Monday.

ALABAMA — Rashinda Reed became at least the third NCAA Division I head coach from Alaska when Alabama announced her hiring Monday. 

Reed, who played at Southwestern Oregon Community College and finished at Georgia, played professionally, was the head coach at Southern Indiana, served as an assistant at Binghamton, Northeastern, and UAB, and for the last five years was at Illinois.

“As the first black female head coach of the program, I am eager to set the example of excellence and strength alongside some of the most respected colleagues and accomplished staff members,” Reed said in a news release. “Our staff will bring similar values that will help guide this program towards a culture of champions.”

The job opened when Lindsey Devine resigned after three seasons. Alabama finished 10-20 in 2021, 2-16 in the SEC.

Said Illinois coach Chris Tamas about Reed: “She is a great coach and even a better person. Our bond goes well beyond us coaching together. She is my best friend and sister. She is creative, innovative and has always pushed this program to be better each and every day. I am forever thankful and grateful for her being with us for the last five seasons and wish her the best as she builds her own program.”

The other Alaskans? Boyhood friends Mark Rosen, the head coach at Michigan, and Kent Miller, the head coach at Saint Louis, who are from Anchorage. Reed is from Fairbanks.

TCU — Jason Williams, the associate head coach at Baylor, stayed in the Big 12 with his move from Waco to Fort Worth. Williams went to Baylor in 2015 as a volunteer coach, moved up the ranks, and was part of the program’s greatest stretch, including going to 2019 NCAA national semifinals.

He takes over a program that finished 8-18, 2-14 in the Big 12 under TCU alum Jill Kramer, who resigned after seven seasons.

Williams played beach volleyball and was a longtime club coach before going to Baylor. He got to coach his daughter, Callie, at Baylor.

SOUTHERN MISS — As seen on VolleyballMag.com during our weekly video visit on Monday, Jenny Hazelwood is getting back into college coaching. 

Hazelwood last was a college coach when she spent six seasons at Mississippi State, her alma mater, where she was a setter. She’s also been the coach at Centenary, Austin Peay, and Mississippi College.

Jenny Hazelwood

She and her husband, Brian (a former Mississippi State place-kicker), run the Infinity girls club in Jackson, Mississippi, and their daughter, Allie, is a 2023 USC volleyball commit. And, of course, she appears on VolleyballMag.com on Mondays for our weekly NCAA roundtable with Salima Rockwell, Emily Ehman, and VBM editor Lee Feinswog.

Southern Miss finished 11-17 overall in 2021, 3-9 in Conference USA, under Stephanie Radecki, who resigned after four seasons. USM is moving to the Sun Belt Conference, which may occur as early as the 2022 season.

NORTH ALABAMA — Tristan Johnson takes over at the school in Florence, Alabama, that finished 9-20 this season, 3-13 in the ASUN. Johnson most recently has been an assistant coach at Southern Illinois at Carbondale and has served with the USA men’s and women’s national teams. He’s also been an assistant at Arkansas State and Alabama.

AVCA WOMEN — Wisconsin started the season at No. 2 behind Texas, spent some time at Nos. 3, 4, and 5, but won it all and finished at No. 1 in the final 2021 AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Women’s Poll.

Nebraska, which lost to Wisconsin, jumped from No. 10 to No. 2.

Louisville went from No. 1 to third, and Pittsburgh was No. 4.

Texas, which was No. 1 from the get-go until it lost its first match in November and stayed at No. 2 through the end of the regular season, is No. 5.

The next five: Purdue, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, BYU, and Baylor. Georgia Tech made a jump of five spots. 

Illinois, which had been ranked but dropped out of the last poll, moved back in at No. 16, and Kansas appeared for the first time at No. 19. Oregon dropped four spots but held on at No. 24, and Miami, which got in for the first time in the last poll at No. 24, was No. 25.

Mississippi State and Ball State dropped out.

Click here for the complete AVCA Poll.

AVCA MEN — The preseason poll has defending-champion Hawai’i No. 1, followed by UCLA, Pepperdine, Long Beach State, and Penn State. Hawai’i got 12 first-place votes, UCLA and Pepperdine one each, Long Beach got three, and BYU, which ranked No. 6, got two votes.

Click here for the complete poll. 

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