AMHERST, Mass., May 21, 2020 — Valerie Jones has been named the women's head volleyball coach at Amherst College, it was announced by Director of Athletics Don Faulstick. Jones has served as the head coach at several National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and Division II programs, most recently at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in Georgia. The appointment is effective July 15. Jones succeeds Sue Everden, the legendary Amherst coach since 1986, who announced her phased retirement earlier this year.
"I'm so excited to welcome Val to the Amherst community and our women's volleyball program, which will mark its 40th season this fall," said Faulstick. "Her experience working in all levels of the sport, and her technical approach and knowledge of the game, will be both invaluable and inspiring to our student-athletes. I'm confident she will cultivate and carry forward the dynamic and positive culture of athletic and academic achievement that Sue created and grew, with an integrity that will make us proud in the years ahead."
During her two years at CAU, Jones mentored two All-Conference selections and seven All-Academic honorees. Prior to that, she served as head coach of the Division I South Carolina State University program, was the inaugural head coach of the Division I Kennesaw State (Ga.) University team, and spent four years at Joliet Junior (Ill.) College, where she guided the program to a top-10 ranking and back-to-back berths in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV championship tournament while also serving as the athletic department's women's athletic coordinator. Before that, Jones was an assistant volleyball coach at Northwestern University, the University of California-Davis and Utah State University. Outside of the collegiate ranks, she guided Whitewater High School (Fayetteville, Ga.) to a 5A State title with a single-season record of 53-3, for which she was named the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association State and Regional Coach of the Year.
"I'm honored to be chosen as the next head coach at Amherst College," Jones said, "and I'd like to thank AD Don Faulstick and everyone involved in the search process. I'm humbled and excited to become a part of the Mammoth family. I look forward to continuing to build upon the incredible legacy established by Coach Everden."
A dedicated teacher of the game and member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association since 1998, Jones is also active at the club level and is the current Master Coach for Atlanta Elite Volleyball University. She holds a USA Volleyball 18-National Division Championship title as the head coach of the Tsunami Volleyball Club 18-1 team.
"Val is intuitive, responsive and very caring of her student-athletes," noted current Alabama State University head coach and former U.S. National Team member Penny Lucas-White. "She will add value to Amherst College volleyball and their great tradition of winning."
Jones earned a bachelor of science degree in exercise science and sport studies from the University of Tampa and a master's degree in physical education with a focus on sport psychology and counseling from the University of North Dakota.
Amherst College prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Since its founding, in 1821, in Western Massachusetts, Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world. The College will celebrate its bicentennial in 2021.
Valerie Jones' Coaching Career
2020-present: Amherst College (Head Coach)
2018-2020: Clark Atlanta University (Head Coach)
2016-2017: Emerald High School (Head Coach & Physical Education Teacher)
2013-2016: South Carolina State University (Head Coach)
2011-2013: Whitewater High School (Head Coach)
2005-2009: Kennesaw State University (Head Coach)
2002-2005: Joliet Junior College (Head Coach & Women's Athletic Coordinator)
2000-2002: Northwestern University (Assistant Coach)
1999-2000: University of California, Davis (Assistant Coach)
1998-1999: Utah State University (Assistant Coach)
1996-1998: University of North Dakota (Graduate Assistant)
For all the latest on Amherst College volleyball, stay tuned to athletics.amherst.edu and follow the team (@amherstwvolleyball) and the Mammoths (@amherstmammoths) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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