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Newly Hired South Carolina Volleyball Coach Tom Mendoza To Keynote 1 P.M. HSSR Fall All-State Sports Banquet

Newly Hired South Carolina Volleyball Caoch Tom Mendoza To Keynote 1 P.M. Fall banquet At Seawell’s On February, 11th

From Staff Reports & USC Sports Information

Moncks Corner—Tom Mendoza, the brand new head volleyball coach at South Carolina has agreed to keynote the 1 P.M. non- football 31st annual HSSR banquet scheduled for 1 p.m. at Seawell’s on February, 11th.

“I am looking forward to speaking at this all-state event and getting to meet many of the high school volleyball coaches and players along with athletes in other fall sports,” said Coach Mendoza. “This event should be a lot of fun an I am looking forward to speaking and making new friendships."  

 Coach Mendoza is the first Gamecock volleyball coach to ever speak at this annaul statewide event and HSSR Publisher Billy G. Baker is pleased to have Coach Mendoza at the podium. “Volleyball is regarded as an Olympic sport and therefore college coaches are allowed and encouraged to participate in helping the talent pool grow in their region of the country with instructional camps and special coaching so I hope Coach Mendoza gets personally involved in helping the sport grow in South Carolina. In doing that he will be helping his own program grow with a roster dominated by of in-state players.   

“We have seen volleyball talent grow and improve in the state in recent years and with the addition of Coach Mendoza as the head volleyball coach at South Carolina I am certain the sport will grow even more from the early youth age groups right up to the high school level," said Baker.

South Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner announced Mendoza recently as the 13th head coach in Gamecock volleyball's 45-year history. Mendoza comes to Columbia after two seasons as head coach at High Point University, where he led the Panthers to 47 wins and back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.

"I am excited to welcome Tom Mendoza to Gamecock Country. In researching candidates for our coaching position, one name kept coming up when talking with those in volleyball circles -- Tom Mendoza," said Tanner. "Tom is a teacher and strategist who has been successful in his coaching career recruiting and developing young volleyball players to become outstanding student-athletes. I’m looking forward to the impact that Coach Mendoza will have on our volleyball program."

"I want to thank Coach Tanner, Judy Van Horn, the Board of Trustees, and the search committee for giving me the opportunity to coach at the University of South Carolina," Mendoza said. "It's easy to be excited about the potential and future of this program. It's a phenomenal school, there's a lot of talent already in the gym, and we have very loyal fans and a great facility. We are going to work on being a harder team to play against and earn our success. I can't wait to get working with the team and recruiting future Gamecocks."

 

 

 

 


 

Mendoza's High Point team won 24 matches in 2017, the second-most in the program's Division I era. Thanks to an ambitious non-conference schedule that included wins over Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio, the Panthers were in rare company as a mid-major program earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. It was the team's third NCAA berth overall, and was the first volleyball at-large bid in Big South Conference history.

In the postseason, Mendoza was named Big South Coach of the Year and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Southeast Region Coach of the Year for his efforts. The Panthers also had their first student-athlete earn regional honors, as junior Molly Livingston made the All-Southeast Region team.

Before taking over at High Point, Mendoza helped lay the foundation for one of the top indoor program in the country -- Creighton University. He was with the Bluejays from 2010 to 2015, and rose to the role of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator during his final three seasons. His 2015 recruiting class at Creighton was ranked No. 11 in the country.

During his six years in Omaha, Mendoza helped the program win 20 or more matches five times, with five conference titles, five NCAA Tournament bids and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2015. Individually, Mendoza worked with AVCA third team All-Americans Jaali Winters (2015) and Kelli Browning (2014), and had eight players earn AVCA first team All-Region honors during his six seasons.

High Point and Creighton had one combined NCAA appearance in its respective histories before his arrival.

His stops before Creighton included one season at Evansville as an assistant, and two seasons as a volunteer coach with Michigan State. The Spartans made the Sweet 16 in 2007, his first season on staff.

The Buffalo Grove, Ill. native was a three-year letter winner at Newman University and a one-year letter winner at Lewis University, and was a NAIA All-American as a setter. He received his bachelor's degree in management information systems from Lewis in 2007.

Mendoza will be joined in Columbia by his wife, Megan. The couple has two dogs, Jay and Ace.

 


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