The college has named Aleah Hayes the second head volleyball coach in the 10-year history of the program.
Hayes assumes her first head coaching job after a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Columbia College, a NAIA school in Columbia, Missouri. She also has one year as an assistant at Evangel University and two years as a graduate assistant at Columbia on her resume.
"We feel very fortunate to get someone with Coach Hayes' playing and coaching experience," said Dr. Jay Kinzer, vice president of student services/athletic director. "She has been a part of a national championship team, which is very important to us coming on the heels of our first national tournament season a year ago.
"She is a talented, energetic, personable and high character person. We believe she will take our program to the next level and will be a great fit in our Cardinal family."
Kinzer said Hayes will begin her duties at the college Monday, July 29. An introductory press conference is scheduled Tuesday, July 30 at 2 p.m.
Hayes graduated with distinction from Columbia in 2014, where she played for two seasons, earning All-America honors. Upon graduation, she spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Columbia, where she was a part of the Cougars' national championship team in 2015.
She then spent a season as an assistant coach at Evangel University before returning to her alma mater for the past two seasons.
Before serving as a graduate assistant, Hayes graduated from Columbia with a degree in psychology and elementary education. While at Columbia, she played for the Cougar volleyball team. She was a scholar-athlete and received the AMC Champions of Character award in both 2011 and 2012, while also earning the Columbia College Student Athlete Champion of Character Award.
Hayes was a member of Alpha Chi and Kappa Delta Pi, serving as president.
Prior to transferring to Columbia for her junior season, Hayes played two seasons at Texas Tech University. As a defensive specialist and libero for the Red Raiders, she saw extensive playing time as a freshman and was a starter in her sophomore season. Hayes was a first team Academic All-Big 12 selection in her second year.
In 2016, Hayes was awarded the 30 Under 30 Award by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The award was created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport. She also received the 2017 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Wynn Award. The award is presented to former high school, college and pro standouts who made an impact in their sports.
Hayes was a four-year starter in volleyball at Ozark High School and was a three-time All-Southwest Missouri Region selection, along with being named All-State as a senior.
In addition to volleyball, Hayes was on Ozark's swimming and diving team and qualified for the state championships for four straight years as both a swimmer and diver. She was also a pole vaulter for the Tigers' track and field team.
She was class salutatorian, graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
In 2014, Hayes received a degree in psychology and elementary education at Columbia. She completed her master's in teaching at Columbia in 2016.
THE HAYES FILE
Hometown: Ozark, Missouri
Parents: Bruce and Joanna
Siblings: Jade (sister)
2017-18 – Columbia College (assistant coach)
2016 – Evangel University (assistant coach)
2014-15 – Columbia College (graduate assistant)
- 2015 Columbia team won NAIA national championship
2005-09 – Ozark High School
- Multi-sport sport athlete, participating in swimming & diving a track & field; two-time all-state selection in volleyball; three-time state qualifier in swimming & diving
2009-10 – Texas Tech University
- Starter as a sophomore and First Team Academic All-Big 12
2011-12 – Columbia College
- All-American and two-time recipient of AMC Champions of Character Award; recipient of Columbia College Student-Athlete Champion of Character Award
Notes: Her father is a minister and professor and her mother is a teacher and coach … Both parents were student-athletes: father (football, track): mother (volleyball) … Has had two coaches with Olympic experiences: Lori Endicott-Vandersnick (volleyball) and Ginny Fulner (swimming).