Appalachian State University volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro has announced the hiring of Gregg Whitis as an assistant coach. Whitis will
officially begin his coaching duties next week.
"I am very excited," said Whitis. "Matt and I have known one another for over a decade and it's not often that you have an opportunity to work with and for a friend."
"I had opportunities to coach against [assistant coach] Alex Kelly while she played at Lipscomb and I think she brings all of the qualities that made her a successful student-athlete to the bench, making her an outstanding young coach. I'm anxious to get to Boone and help them however I can."
Whitis spent three seasons at the University of Tennessee prior to his most recent move to Appalachian State..
While at Tennessee, he helped the Lady Volunteers to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, an overall record of 71-25 and a mark of 46-14 in the always-competitive Southeastern Conference.
"With the departure of [former ASU associate head coach] Kolby O'Donnell, we had a pretty big hole to fill in our staff," said Ginipro. "I am extremely excited that Gregg has chosen to be a part of the Appalachian volleyball family. To say that he is a fantastic addition to our program would be a huge understatement. I've had the pleasure of calling Gregg a friend for a long time and when he expressed an interest in coming to the High Country, Alex and I made sure to do everything in our power to make it happen."
In addition to his work on the court with the Lady Vols, Whitis served as the team's recruiting coordinator where he established himself as one of the top talent evaluators and recruiters in the nation. Tennessee's 2010 recruiting class, regarded as the best in program history, was ranked as the fourth-best class in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com.
"Gregg is known across the volleyball world as one of the best recruiters in the country, so our program will definitely benefit from his expertise in that area," said Ginipro. "However, what many people don't know is how skilled he is in the gym as a trainer and as a tactician. He's been successful in the ACC, the Big 10 and the SEC and I'm looking forward to him bringing that experience to Boone as we push Appalachian volleyball to be better each and every year."
The Lady Vols' 2010 recruiting class included three top-50 recruits and helped Tennessee to its first-ever outright SEC championship and a second-round NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2011 campaign. Kelsey Robinson, one of the members of the 2010 recruiting class, was named as the SEC Player of the Year and earned second-team All-America accolades.
Prior to his arrival in Knoxville, Whitis spent two seasons at the University of Michigan where he helped the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including the program's first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16 in 2007 before losing to eventual national champion Penn State.
During his final season in Ann Arbor, Whitis helped lead Michigan to a top-10 national ranking as the Wolverines spent every week of the season either ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25.
Prior to coaching in the Big Ten with Michigan, Whitis was highly successful as an assistant coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the Clemson Tigers, where he coached for three seasons where he served as recruiting coordinator.
In 2007, with a class comprised mainly of Whitis' former recruits, Clemson capped off the year with a top-25 national ranking and an appearance in the Sweet 16.
Before his time at Clemson, Whitis served as an assistant coach at Southern Methodist University for two seasons where he coached several all-conference players for the Mustangs.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Indiana State from 1995-97 before taking the head coaching job at Kankakee Community College from 1997-98 before a stint at South Dakota State, where he helped the Jackrabbits to the 1998 NCAA Division II Tournament.
Whitis has also coached at the University of South Carolina and Northern Michigan University.
He is a 1991 graduate of Olivet Nazarene University where he earned a bachelor's degree in English education. Whitis played three years of club volleyball and two years of varsity golf for the Tigers.
Photo Courtesy: Gregg Whitis, Tennessee Athletics