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Mizzou hires new volleyball coach


Mizzou Athletics Director Desiree Reed-Francois announced that the MU volleyball team has a new leader on Sunday night. Former UNLV head coach Dawn Sullivan will take the reins in Columbia.

Sullivan and Reed-Francois are no strangers. The two met when Reed-Francois served as the UNLV Athletics Director, before coming to Mizzou. Sullivan finished her five seasons in Las Vegas with a 109-39 record, a Mountain West Conference championship, five-straight postseason appearances and 20 or more wins in four of the last five seasons.

"We had the privilege of speaking with an impressive group of coaches during this competitive search process, but it became clear that Dawn embodies everything we sought for in our next women's volleyball head coach," Reed-Francois said in a press release on Sunday. "She's an elite leader, tireless recruiter and a proven winner. She has deep Midwestern roots, is smart, driven and student-athlete focused. Dawn understands the incredible history of Mizzou volleyball and has a vision to build upon that great tradition and bring championships to our Tiger community."

Sullivan is no stranger to the Midwest, either. She played college volleyball at Kansas State. In her time in Manhattan, she helped lead the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1996 – the first of four straight during her playing career.

She earned second-team All-America honors in 1999 and was inducted into the Wildcats' Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Staying in the Midwest, she also coached at both Iowa State and Illinois State before taking the job at UNLV.

She is a two-time Mountain West Coach of the year winner and leaves UNLV as the second-most winningest coach in program history.

"It is an honor to take over a historically great program like Mizzou," Sullivan said in a press release. "Coaching at Mizzou provided a unique opportunity that I could not pass up. I am grateful for the opportunity to build upon the Tigers' volleyball tradition, and I am looking forward to competing in the SEC, which is top to bottom the best conference in the nation. The support provided by the athletic department as well as the university now and into the future is amazing."

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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.


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