|Mike MacNeill is the first male head coach in Wiley Volleyball program history|
MARSHALL, Texas -- On Friday at Alumni Gymnasium, Wiley College made history by introducing their first male women's volleyball head coach Mike MacNeill during a press conference.
"I have plans to help this program get back to winning conference championships and competing for NAIA Championships," MacNeill said. "I believe with the standards and expectations I have for our players, they will rise to the occasion."
MacNeill replaces LaKyva Bason – who went 28-18 in her second stint as coach and led the Lady Wildcats to two Red River Athletic Conference Semifinal Appearances. MacNeill joins the Wiley College coaching staff after spending two years as a high school boys' volleyball coach at Riverside Poly in California. The school hadn't won a match before MacNeill took over. He went 38-12 and guided Riverside Poly to the CIF Southern Section Championship semifinals.
Prior to Riverside Poly, MacNeill was the girls' volleyball coach at Martin Luther High School in Riverside, California. He led them to the CIF Southern Section Division 1A Quarterfinals and Semifinals in 2013 and 2014.
MacNeill excelled as a volleyball player – playing all positions on the court. He helped Clovis High School won back to back CIF Championships in his junior and senior season. He led California Baptist University to two NAIA Championships.
Wiley College Athletic Director Dr. Joseph Morale – who is also the Vice President for Student Affairs and Retention Services - explained why MacNeill was the perfect candidate for Wiley College.
"I realized that he was competitive knowledgeable and passionate," Morale said. "I knew he was the one when he referred to his family, there was a joy, and love that you cannot fake. He loves his wife and kids and he will love and care for his players."
The Lady Wildcats return nine from last season's 18-12 team which finished third in the Red River Athletic Conference with a 10-4 record and reached the conference semifinals. Returning players Alissa Johnson (FR/Beaumont, Texas) – who was a RRAC All-Conference Honorable Mention – and Kaylee Nickerson – who redshirt last season – were present.
"I feel like he is focused," Johnson said. "I feel like he can get on the court with us and dive for balls. Since he played all positions, he can help everyone."
MacNeill is excited to work with his new team.
"This group is something special," MacNeill said. "When I spoke to them on the phone, they said wanted to be challenged more and disciplined more. All the things that I'm going to bring, they were excited about it."
He is married to Holly MacNeill. Together they have two children Blake and Elizabeth. The MacNeill era begins on August 18 at the RRAC and Sooner Athletic Conference Crossover Tournament. MacNeill's first home game will be 6 p.m. August 29 against Mid-America Christian.
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