Appalachian State University associate head volleyball coach Kolby O'Donnell will leave the program after accepting a similar position at the University of Miami, head coach
Matt Ginipro announced Wednesday.
"The Appalachian State volleyball family is losing a phenomenal coach," said Ginipro, "but I'm very excited for Kolby to have this opportunity. This is a great step for him on his path towards becoming a collegiate head coach someday and the University of Miami is getting a fantastic addition to their staff."
"I've known [Miami head coach] Nicole Welch since my time at Virginia and definitely respect what she has done with the Miami Volleyball program. I know that Kolby will just add to the success that they've had in the ACC and in the NCAA tournament."
O'Donnell, who spent four seasons with the Mountaineers, began his career at ASU as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach this past summer.
"I would like to thank Matt for giving me the opportunity to coach at Appalachian State University," said O'Donnell. "I have learned a lot from him about running a program both on and off the court. Not only am I leaving a mentor but also a great friend."
"I would also like to thank Charlie Cobb, Debbie Richardson and rest of the athletics administration for all of their support over the years," he said. "I'm truly honored to have been part of such a great athletic department."
"Lastly, I would like to thank all of the ASU volleyball players that I have had the privilege to coach over my four years with the program. They and their families are what makes our program special, and I will miss all of them."
During his time at ASU, O'Donnell worked primarily with the team's outsidehitters, was in charge of Appalachian's blocking schemes and served as the Black and Gold's recruiting coordinator.
O'Donnell helped the 2011 Mountaineers to a 21-11 record and a second-place finish in the SoCon North Division. During the season, Maggie Seeds moved into seventh-place in ASU history with 264 block assists, while Alison Blasingame finished with the 10th-best single-season block assist total in Appalachian State history with 112 block assists.
The Mountaineers finished fifth in the SoCon in blocks per set and Blasingame finished the year ranked second in the conference in blocks per set. In addition to the team's success in the blocking schemes, outside hitter Anna Wagner finished as an all-conference selection after leading the team and ranking fourth in the SoCon in kills per set (3.35).
The 2011 recruiting class was also listed as an honorable mention by PrepVolleyball.com among top recruiting classes in the country.
While in charge of the team's blocking schemes the previous season, Appalachian finished the 2010 season 13th in NCAA Division I in blocks per set.
In addition to helping the team and individual players to some of the top marks in school history, O'Donnell also helped the team rise from an RPI of 272 in his first season, to 98 this past year.
"I'm excited for the opportunity at the University of Miami and for the future of Appalachian State volleyball," said O'Donnell.
Prior to coming to ASU, he spent two seasons at Radford as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He managed game-day operations, in-season travel and development of practice plans.
A graduate of Lees-McRae College, O'Donnell was a team captain and four-year letterwinner for the Bobcats, where he helped the team to a 66-26 record.
"I've been extremely fortunate to have Kolby working alongside of me for the past four years and knew this day would eventually come since he has had several programs asking about him recently," said Ginipro. "I wish him and his wife, Taukia, the best of luck in this next step of their lives."
Photo Courtesy: Kolby O'Donnell, by Dave Mayo, ASU Athletics