SLU names White as head of volleyball program, announces addition of beach volleyball as NCAA sport
HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana Athletics ushered in a new era Wednesday as athletic director Jay Artigues announced the hiring of Jeremy White, a native of Vidor, Texas, as the head of the university’s volleyball program and the addition of beach volleyball as an NCAA sport.
“Jeremy White brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm,” Artigues said. “I’m really excited about him taking over our volleyball program. He understands our mission statement of excellence in the classroom, community and competition, with a proven track record of success in all three facets. I can’t wait to see where the program heads under his direction.”
The 13th head coach in program history, White will also have oversight of the beach volleyball program. Featuring many of the same players from the indoor squad, the Lady Lions will take to the sand for their first official competition in the spring of 2020.
White, whose hire is pending approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, comes to Southeastern from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. He replaces Jim Smoot, who retired last month to wrap up a 39-year coaching career, the last six of which were spent at Southeastern.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to take over the volleyball program at Southeastern,” White said. “With lots of talent in the state, quality facilities and a supportive athletic administration, the key pieces are in place for success.”
At Northwestern, White (38-25) led the Lady Rangers to the two best seasons in school history, producing seven All-Conference selections and a Great American Conference Newcomer of the Year. The winningest coach in program history, he guided Northwestern to back-to-back appearances in the GAC Tournament. The Lady Rangers have maintained a team GPA over 3.0 throughout his tenure.
In his first season at the helm of the program, White engineered a 16-win improvement, finishing the year 20-10 overall. With a fourth-place regular season finish in the Great American Conference, the Lady Rangers advanced to the conference tournament for only the second time in six seasons. For his efforts, White was named state Coach of the Year by the Oklahoma Sports Network.
Before Northwestern, White spent one season as the top assistant at Lamar State College in Port Arthur, Texas, and two more as the recruiting coordinator at fellow Southland Conference-foe McNeese.
While at McNeese, White helped guide the Cowgirls to back-to-back appearances in the conference tournament. He coached three All-Southland performers, two of which – Malina Sanchez (2015 Louisiana Player of the Year) and Bridget Justis (2016 Louisiana Libero of the Year) – also earned top honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
White has several years of both club and high school coaching experience, the most prominent being a stint as head coach at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
From 2011 to 2013, White led the Lady Bucs to an 81-28 record, three-straight District 1-5A Championships and back-to-back appearances in the State Quarterfinals (2012 and 2013). During his tenure at Barbe, White was a three-time district Coach of the Year who produced 16 all-district athletes, two district MVPs, two All-State athletes and two state all-stars.
A fixture in Texas and Louisiana club circles, he was a club director and coach for eight years, with multiple club teams across both states. Many of the players he trained and coached at the club level went on to play collegiate volleyball after playing in his system.
Still an active athlete, White has continued his playing career both indoor as a middle blocker and outside hitter, and on the beach circuit where he’s won multiple tournaments at the Open/AA level.
A two-time graduate of McNeese, White earned a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance in 2008 and completed his masters in exercise physiology in 2016. He is married to the former Sarah Lyons, a Lake Charles native.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT NEW SOUTHEASTERN COACH JEREMY WHITE
“Jeremy will turn Southeastern volleyball into a winner. He learned from Lee McBride, one of the best coaches in the country, who also mentored me. Jeremy not only knows the game very well and how to train at a high level but he instills a great team culture. The players there will want to play hard from him.” – Jim Barnes, Head Coach, Tulane University
“We are so excited for Coach Jeremy and his family that he is returning home to Louisiana. Our state and the Southland Conference are lucky to have someone of Jeremy’s drive and character leading the Southeastern program.” – Ashleigh Fitzgerald, Head Coach, McNeese State University
Beach volleyball becomes the 16th NCAA sport sponsored by Southeastern. Under White’s direction, home matches will be played on new sand courts currently under construction behind the right-field wall of the softball stadium in North Oak Park.
Southland Conference members Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, New Orleans, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi currently sponsor beach volleyball and the Southland plans to sponsor a conference beach volleyball championship event beginning with the 2020 season.
NCAA BEACH VOLLEYBALL RULES
Opponents play five sets of doubles matches (best two-out-of-three) against each other, with the first to take three matches claiming the victory. Schools are required to play a minimum of eight matches over the course of 16 available playing dates. Most schools play multiple matches per weekend while participating in several tournaments.
NCAA BEACH VOLLEYBALL HISTORY
Approved in 2009 as an emerging sport for women, sand volleyball exceeded the target goal of 40 NCAA varsity programs by October 2014 and was approved as the NCAA’s 90th Division I championship sport. The NCAA officially changed the name of the sport to beach volleyball in 2015, hosting the first NCAA Division I championship the next year.
DIGGIN’ IT CLUB / S CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the Southeastern volleyball program are encouraged to join the Diggin’ It Club. Lion volleyball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Diggin’ It Club and S Club (volleyball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern volleyball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Lady Lions Volleyball, follow @SLU_VBall on Twitter, @Southeastern_vb on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
The Jeremy White File
Son, Karter James (5 mos.)
McNeese, 2008 (Master’s, 2016)
2017-18 Northwestern Oklahoma State – Head Coach
2015-16 McNeese State University – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2014 Lamar State College-Port Arthur – Assistant Coach
2011-13 Alfred M. Barbe High School (Lake Charles, Louisiana) – Head Coach
2010-11 West Brook High School (Beaumont, Texas) – Assistant Coach/Interim Head Coach
2008-10 Alfred M. Barbe High School (Lake Charles, Louisiana) – Assistant Coach
2007-16 Southwest Select/Sandshark Volleyball Club – Club Director/Coach
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