On Friday, Jan. 18, director of athletics Steven Rackley announced that Alma College alumni Madison Smith would take over the volleyball program as head coach.
Smith, who graduated in 2017, was a four-year member of the volleyball team, and spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Tufts University.
“She was part of a great program at Tufts, learned a lot and I feel she can help us continue our ascension to become one of the best programs in the MIAA,” said Rackley.
“She coached at a very successful program and I believe that her knowledge of the game will keep pushing us forward,” said Ashtyn Snyder (‘20).
Although she spent time away, Smith is now back home. “I’m very excited to get Coach Smith back on campus,” said Rackley.
“She understands Alma, our culture and what we’re trying to do.” Rackley is not the only one who is excited to have Smith back on campus. “Being that she is a recent alumni, she knows the team and she knows our dynamic,” said Snyder. “It is nice that she already understands what Alma’s mission is coming into this position,” said Haley Novak (‘21).
“I had the privilege to play with her for a year and I know her passion for the game will continue to be inspirational to us all,” said Snyder.
As far as the hiring process for this position, it was all about getting Smith back to Alma. “We phone interviewed five candidates, then brought in three. Coach Smith came out on top,” said Rackley.
“We run all of our searches in basically the same way,” said Rackley, “We advertise nationally both on the NCAA website, then we usually advertise on the website of the particular coaches association that we’re trying to hire.”
From this point on, Smith will be taking over the program she was once a competitor for, and the team could not be more excited for the future. “We are looking forward for spring season and getting to know her,” said Novak. “The main goal is to prepare for an even more successful outcome than last fall, and I know Coach Smith will help get us there.”
“We had a very successful season this past fall and we want to continue to build off that momentum,” said Snyder. “We have high expectations of ourselves and for the team and having Coach Smith lead the way will allow us to keep pushing towards our greatest potential as a program.”