BLUEGRASS COLLEGE CAMP
Friday, March 6th, 2020
Camp open to all 14u-18u athletes.
In Eve Rackham’s two seasons on Rocky Top, she has compiled a record of 41-19 and became the fastest coach in program history to reach 20 wins in conference play. She holds a 24-11 record against SEC opponents.
Rackham had the Lady Vols playing their best volleyball of the season at the end of the 2019 campaign as Tennessee won five of its last six matches with three of the wins coming on the road. It helped UT move up three spots in the conference standings as the Lady Vols tied for seventh.
Rackham challenged Tennessee with one of the toughest schedules in the country as UT played 12 matches against teams who made the NCAA Tournament, six matches against AVCA top-25 opponents, seven matches against RPI top-25 teams and 11 matches against RPI top-50 opponents.
Despite the tough schedule, the Lady Vols finished with a winning record both overall and in conference play. It marks the first time since the 2011 and 2012 season that Tennessee has accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons.
In non-conference play, the Lady Vols increased their home tournament-winning streak to 24 matches, sweeping every match in the Tennessee Classic. During the final match of the tournament against North Dakota State, UT hit a season-high .427 percent, which ranks 11th in program history during the rally-scoring era.
n Rackham’s first season at Tennessee, she helped orchestrate the largest single-season turnaround in program history. She guided the Lady Vols to a 14-win increase overall, 11-win increase in Southeastern Conference play and an eight-place jump in the conference standings.
After being picked to finish 10th, she led Tennessee to 16 SEC wins and a second place finish in her first season as a head coach. Tennessee won a total of 20 SEC matches in the four previous seasons combined.
Rackham became the first Tennessee coach in any sport to beat a ranked opponent in her debut. In front of the second-largest crowd in Lady Vol volleyball history, Tennessee defeated No. 22 Michigan State in four sets to claim their first win in the Eve Rackham era.
On the season, Rackham and the Lady Vols went 2-0 vs. Big Ten opponents, which is their best record against the Big Ten in program history, tying their record of 2-0 in the 1983 season.
The Lady Vols captured four-ranked wins in 2018, the most of any SEC team and the only team in the conference to have a winning record against the AVCA Top-25. After coming back from 2-0 sets down to defeat Georgia in five sets, Tennessee entered the AVCA Top-25 poll themselves for the first time since 2012. The Lady Vols would climb as high as No. 19 in the polls as they were ranked in the final five polls of the season.
Trudy Vande Berg
An excellent young coach with tremendous coaching credentials, Trudy Vande Berg was named to the Big Red coaching staff prior to the 2012 season and was elevated to the position of Wendy Schaenen ’79 Head Coach Of Volleyball at Cornell in March 2015.
In her first four seasons at the helm, she has helped the team make great strides by improving both its overall and conference record each year. Under her direction, the team has earned back-to-back third place Ivy League finishes in 2017 and 2018, the highest finish for Cornell in over a decade (2006).
The accomplishments of 2017 came on the heels of a 2016 season in which the Big Red finished the year with a 12-12 record overall, posting six more victories than it did the previous year, the best single-season turnaround since the 2003 team went 21-4 following a 14-12 performance in 2002.
The seeds of the 2016 turnaround were sown in 2015 when Vande Berg brought in a recruiting class that was ranked among the top 90 in the nation, earning a high honorable mention distinction from PrepVolleyball.com. One of the youngest teams in the nation that season, Cornell was extremely competitive in each and every outing and of the 41 sets the Big Red lost on the year, one-third (13) came by just two points.
In her four seasons as head coach, the Big Red has garnered 11 All-Ivy honors. Additionally, Zoe Chamness was named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District Volleyball First Team, the Big Red’s first selection since Hilary Holland in 2008.
In her three seasons as an assistant, Vande Berg’s strong recruiting helped to establish the base on which her head coaching success has been built, as she was instrumental securing setter Alyssa Phelps and middle blocker Macy Wilson, who finished their careers as All-Ivy selections.
A 15-year volleyball coaching veteran at the Division-I level, Willis comes to Statesboro from Appalachian State, where he spent the last six seasons as the associate head coach. The Mountaineers went 22-9 and 13-3 in the Sun Belt in 2018, won the SBC East Division and advanced to the league tournament championship contest. Appalachian State posted 100 wins during Willis’ time there, notched 20-plus victories three times, advanced to the Sun Belt championship twice and earned a bid to the 2018 National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
In addition to serving as Appalachian’s recruiting coordinator, Willis coordinated the Mountaineer offense and trained the outside and middle hitters. The Mountaineers’ 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes were tabbed by PrepVolleyball as highest honorable mention for the nation’s top recruiting class, and Appalachian has ranked in the top 4 in hitting percentage in the Sun Belt in three of its five seasons in the league, leading the conference with a .272 mark in 2015.
Four Mountaineers – Paige Brown, Emily Corrigan, Jess Keller and Ashton Gregory – were named All-Sun Belt in 2015, and four more – Becky Porter (Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year), Emma Longley, Emma Reilly and Kara Spicer – earned the accolade this past season.
“Chad has an extensive coaching background, has shown the ability to recruit talented and high-character student-athletes at the Division-I level and came highly recommended by a number of coaches and athletics administrators,” said Kleinlein. “As our committee, led by Deputy Athletic Director Lisa Sweany, went through an exhaustive national search process, it became evident that Chad is the best fit for our volleyball program.”
Willis spent eight seasons in Winston-Salem, where he served as an assistant coach at Wake Forest before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2012 campaign. In addition, Willis served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and assistant camp director.
During his time at Wake Forest, he was primarily responsible for coaching the setters and coordinating offensive systems and mentored two All-ACC setters in Erin Borhart and Kelsey Jones. He was part of a staff that led the Demon Deacons to a school-record-tying 10 ACC wins in 2005.
A 2005 graduate of James Madison University, Willis was the starting setter for JMU’s men’s club volleyball team where he helped lead his squad to three top-10 finishes at the national tournament while earning All-America honors twice. He was the head coach for women’s club volleyball at James Madison while spending two seasons as a student assistant coach for the Dukes’ varsity women’s program, where he was part of a staff that led JMU to a Colonial Athletic Association title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000.
Willis spent a season at Elon, where he helped lead the Phoenix to a 19-14 record in 2004 before joining the Wake Forest staff for the 2005 campaign
Ian Choi enters his second year as head coach of the Fordham Volleyball program and third year overall. Last year, The Rams received unprecedented acclaim by achieving Atlantic 10 All-Conference Defensive Awards in two consecutive weeks. Originally arriving to Fordham in 2017 as the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, Choi helped lead the Rams to their highest RPI finish in six years by serving as the position coach for Middle Blockers and Liberos in addition to leading all defensive systems.
Prior to his arrival in New York City, Choi spent two seasons as the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at San Jose State University where he trained the Middle Blockers, Setters and Liberos. He was also responsible for scouting opponents and coding via Data Volley. During his two years, the Spartans saw the second-highest RPI increase among all Division I teams.
Early in his collegiate coaching career, Choi served as an Assistant Coach at the University of Kansas where he worked primarily with the Liberos and Defensive Specialists. That year Choi helped lead the University of Kansas to receive an At-Large bid to the NCAA tournament and finish 22-9 on the season.
Choi’s collegiate coaching experience started at The University of Texas where he helped the Longhorns win a Big 12 Championship and ultimately concluded the season as National Semi-Finalists.
In addition to coaching collegiately, Choi has extensive experience and success coaching with USAV Junior Volleyball. Spending most of his time with the top club in Central Texas, Austin Junior Volleyball, Choi garnered National Qualifying bids across all age groups during his six year tenure there and earned Coach of the Year in 2013. While coaching with USAV, Choi also head coached The University of Texas Women’s Club Volleyball team leading them to a National Championship in 2011
Choi competed at The University of Texas as a setter helping the team to a top 10 finish in 2006. He has a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas
For more information contact Anne Kordes at email@example.com