Coach’s Corner: Jennifer King

NSU has scored an ace with its latest coaching hire, Jennifer King, the new head volleyball coach.

King described her hiring as the best Christmas gift she could have gotten, as she was offered the head coaching position just days before the holiday.

King got the call from NSU Director of Athletics Michael Mominey in December for the vacant head coaching position, and she jumped at the chance to coach again in the SSC and in Florida.

“[I] got a phone call about the position and I was eager and ready to come back to the area and be a part of the Shark family,” said King.

Growing up in Newtown, Conn., King has been playing sports all her life. She had her pick of sports to choose from but never made a decision until she was in seventh grade and fell in love with volleyball.

“I was a standard kid who got thrown into all kinds of sports,” said King.

Volleyball has never been too far from King’s heart. Her decision to stick with volleyball was something she and her family could have predicted, given the family ties to the sport.

“I’ve been around volleyball my whole life. Both of my parents played. But once I started playing, that was it,” King said. “It was on top of my list for everything. I’ve never played competitively in anything else. Been all volleyball since I was 12.”

King later attended Siena College in Albany, N.Y., where she continued her playing career as she earned her psychology degree. In 2003, Siena gave King her first break into coaching, when the volleyball program hired a new head coach, and he asked King to stay as the assistant coach.

“I had always thought about coaching in general and once I graduated, I knew coaching was something I wanted in my life,” said King. “I was very lucky to have it be my life right away and really just fell in love with it. I knew after the first season I coached that it was something I wanted to do for my entire career.”

Siena would be only the first stop for King on her coaching journey. Next would be a brief stop at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. as an assistant coach for the 2005 season.

“[I] started moving around and followed the career where it took me,” said King

Her career took her to West Virginia next as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the West Virginia University volleyball program. She called being in the Big East Conference a great experience. In her two seasons at West Virginia, King was able to help improve the Mountaineers by quintupling the team’s wins from the previous season.

This won’t be King’s first go-around in the Sunshine State Conference; she was an assistant at NSU rival Saint Leo University for two seasons. There, she helped the Lions win their first conference title in 2009. This resulted in Saint Leo being ranked no. 10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 poll.

King accepted her first head coaching position at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. There, she spent the next four years crafting her coaching style for the future. In the last three of those four years, she took her team to the conference tournament, including the program’s first appearance.

“We had a great four-year run there,” said King.

In her short time at NSU, King has reviewed her team to establish its strengths and weaknesses. There are always aspects to improve on in the game but some can’t be taught.

“The strength is athleticism for sure. We have athletic kids who can jump out of the gym, and who can really hit the snot out of the ball,” said King “We need to work on some of our ball control on defense. That’s the only way we can have our athletes be that talented in that offense.”

Everywhere King has gone, she has found success, and NSU Athletics believe that trend will continue for their program. She has the talent and passion needed in a coach and she knows the sport inside and out.

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