SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB women's volleyball head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch has made her first staffing move, hiring Kolby O'Donnell as an Assistant Coach.
"I am very grateful for the opportunity to become a part of the UCSB volleyball family," said O'Donnell. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Nicole after working with her in Miami and was honored when she asked me to join her in Santa Barbara."
O'Donnell will immediately take on a number of responsibilities with the program. He will serve as the defensive coordinator for the squad, organizing opponent scouting and blocking game plans. In practice, he will mainly work with the outside hitters, opposites, liberos, and middle blockers. O'Donnell will also serve as the recruiting coordinator for the program.
"The infastructure in place at UCSB shows the commitment from the administration to help us accomplish our goals and I'm excited to begin to work with this group of student-athletes," O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell previously served as an assistant for Lantagne Welch at the University of Miami in 2012, where he helped the Hurricanes to a 25-6 overall record in what was one of the most impressive seasons in program history. Under Lantagne Welch and O'Donnell's tutelage, Miami won a program-record 17 conference games and finished within one game of the ACC Championship despite graduating three All-Conference players in 2011.
"We are very excited to bring Kolby aboard here at UCSB," said Lantagne Welch. "We were very successful together at Miami and I am confident that we will be able to recreate that same level of success here with the Gauchos."
Prior to his stint at Miami, O'Donnell was on the staff at Appalachian State, serving as Assistant Coach from 2008-10 and as Associate Head Coach in 2011-12. O'Donnell also served as Recruiting Coordinator for the Mountaineers.
His first coaching stop was at Radford University, where he was an assistant from 2006-08.
O'Donnell's teams have had a propensity for rapid improvement when he is on the bench, especially in the blocking department. In 2012, Miami's middles averaged 2.90 blocks per set, a program record, including a whopping 23 block effort at Clemson. In 2009, Appalachian State finished thirteenth in the nation in blocks per set.
O'Donnell also had a successful playing career, captaining the Less-McRae College Bobcats for four years, leading them to a 66-26 record.
Stay tuned to UCSBgauchos.com for upcoming information about the sand volleyball program.