Head Coach Chrissy Smith (Decatur, Indiana) enters her first season at the helm of the USI volleyball team after assisting former head coach Katie Loyer during USI’s record breaking season last fall.
After graduating from Adams Central High School in Monroe, Indiana, Smith was invited to walk on at the University of Cincinnati. She exceeded her coach’s expectations as well as her expectations as she was named to what was formerly known as the Great Midwest Conference All-Newcomer Team as a freshman.
Smith graduated from Cincinnati, where she was a three-time All-Conference USA performer, with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She finished her career at Cincinnati ranking third in kills, fourth in hitting percentage, fifth in kills per game, sixth in total blocks, and sixth in games played. In addition to leading the Bearcats in hitting percentage in 1995, 1996, and 1997, she led the team in kills in 1995.
Her hard work and dedication to the game have paid off for her as a player and as an assistant coach. While under Loyer, Smith was in charge of the Eagles volleyball strength and conditioning program as well as assisting in game preparation, on the court coaching, recruiting, and fund raising.
"It is very exciting opportunity and it will definitely be a challenge," Smith said, "but luckily it has been a smooth transition for both the ladies and myself."
As a walk-on at Cincinnati, Smith knows first hand how important hard work is in the development of an athlete. "Walking on at Cincinnati has helped me relate to both walk-ons and scholarship athletes," she explained. "In the end, it all comes down to hard work, discipline, and a competitive drive for both to succeed."
Smith will have a firm ground to stand on as she enters 2001. The Eagles are returning all six starters from last year, including first team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference members Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) and Kim Boehmer (Cincinnati, Ohio). Boehmer was selected as the GLVC Freshman of the Year while Wells was second in the nation in service aces.
"We are not going to change our style of play," Smith explained. "We will work to develop and improve our skills in the off-season and get stronger in the weight room."
"We are eager to see coach Smith continue the excitement she helped generate as an assistant coach this past fall," USI Athletic Director Steve Newton said. "She has demonstrated the ability to lead the USI volleyball program and sustain the momentum she was a part of this past season."
Assistant Volleyball Coach
Assistant coach Angie Welburn will be entering her first season with the Screaming Eagles volleyball program.
Coach Welburn comes from Southwestern
Michigan College where she earned All-Conference and All-Regional honors in
1995. She helped lead SMC to the conference championship that same season.
Welburn gained her first coaching experience as an assistant varsity coach at Marellus High School (Marcellus, Michigan) in 1995 and a year later made the complete transition from player to coach, becoming an assistant coach at SMC in 1996.
That same year, Welburn was the head coach
for the MHS freshman team. A year later she took the helm of the junior
varsity squad at MHS, leading it to a 13-4-2 record and two tournament
championships. In 1998, Welburn led the junior varsity squad to a 15-2-1
record and another tournament championship.