Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 26, 2013

VSU hires new volleyball coach

VALDOSTA — Mike Swan, a 27-year veteran in the collegiate coaching ranks, has been named the new head volleyball coach at Valdosta State.

“I am really excited to have Mike join our team,” said Valdosta State athletic director Herb Reinhard in making the announcement. “He brings a wealth of experience at a very high level of collegiate volleyball to our program. I have full confidence he will build on the firm foundation already established in our volleyball program and will continue to move us forward into becoming a program that is prominent on a national stage.”

Swan has coached at nearly every level of collegiate volleyball during his career. He has built successful programs at the NAIA, NCAA Division I, II and III levels. During his 27 years in volleyball, Swan has totaled 520 victories, which ranks among the top 40 among active Division I coaches. Eleven times in his career, his teams have won 20 or more matches in a season. He has directed a squad to postseason tournament play on 15 occasions.

“I would like to thank President (William) McKinney, Herb Reinhard and the rest of the selection committee,” Swan stated. “Everyone I met during the interview process had so many good things to say about working at Valdosta State, and about the experiences that student-athletes have when they are members of a VSU squad. I am very excited to join the Valdosta State family and look forward to meeting the expectations that come with working at this university.”

Swan comes to Valdosta State from Division I Evansville, where he has served as the head coach since 2003. In his 10 seasons at Evansville, Swan tallied 124 victories and twice led his team to postseason play.

While his Purple Aces achieved on the court, they also excelled in the classroom. Evansville was honored with the AVCA Academic Excellence Award eight times in his 10 seasons, and in each of the last five years. Five times a Purple Ace was named All-Missouri Valley Conference under Swan, while a player was tabbed to the MVC’s All-Freshman team on three occasions.

Prior to Evansville, Swan spent five years at Division I Morehead State, where he accumulated 82 wins. He was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 after leading his team to a 23-10 record, one of four years he led the Eagles into postseason play. He coached the 2001 and 2002 OVC Player of the Year and the 2001 OVC Freshman of the Year while at Morehead State. His emphasis on success in the classroom was also evident, as he directed his squad to the AVCA Academic Excellence Award in four of his five seasons with Morehead State.

Prior to Morehead State, Swan spent one season at Division II American International, where he tallied a 23-10 record and three years at Division III Manchester College. He began his collegiate coaching career at Huntington University, where he put together teams that dominated the NAIA ranks. His teams made postseason play in all eight of his years with Huntington and won conference championships with undefeated records in seven of those eight years. He earned conference Coach of the Year honors all seven of those years, including District Coach of the Year accolades in 1987 and 1993, and saw his team finish ranked in the NAIA Top 25 in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Swan’s head coaching career began at Southwood High School in Wabash, Ind. in 1979. During his six seasons with the school, he directed the Knights to a 115-37 record.

“The success of the Valdosta State athletic program as a whole is one that is known nationwide,” Swan stated after the announcement. “Everyone I talk to tells me that VSU is absolutely a great place to work. I look forward to the new challenges that will come with taking over this program and building it to match the level of success that the rest of the Blazer teams currently enjoy.”

A native of Largo, Ind., Swan graduated from Manchester College in 1979 with a degree in Secondary Education.

“We were very pleased with the strength of the pool of applicants for our position,” Reinhard concluded. “As we expected, there was considerable interest in coaching the program at Valdosta State, and I feel strongly that we have found a tremendous new coach to lead us forward.”

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog