Gamble in for new volleyball season

~ Steve Lathan/JSU
~ Steve Lathan/JSU

                                   ~ Steve Lathan/JSU

Terry Gamble is the new volleyball coach for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Gamble has taken the place of former JSU Volleyball coach Joseph Goodson. Last season, Goodson’s volleyball team went 13-18 and 6-10 in conference play. The Gamecocks lost 10 of their last 13 matches that season. However, the volleyball team did win in the classroom that season as they were honored the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Team Academic Award. The Gamecocks boasted a 3.67 GPA over the 2013-14 year which was the highest of any JSU’s varsity team.  Jacksonville State saw 13 of its 15 players post a GPA of 3.6 or higher which was led by Molly Jo Aiken’s 4.0. Despite the excellence in the classroom, there was still an issue on the court with winning. To combat this, JSU Athletics Director Warren Koegel felt it was time to move in a different direction and hired Terry Gamble as the new Jacksonville State Volleyball coach.

Gamble has coached for 18 years at the collegiate level with a 799-236 overall record. Gamble was elected to the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007. He has won three National Championships. Gamble spent the last four years as head coach at McNeese State. At McNeese State, Gamble led the Cowgirls to the Southland Conference Tournament in his first season. He also coached four McNeese players who were named to the All-Southland Conference team, including the 2012 SLC Newcomer of the Year.

Gamble has coached 14 All-Americans, 17 Academic All-Americans, three NJCAA National Players of the Year, 17 All-Tournament players, 19 Regional Players of the Year, 33 All-Region Tournament players, 12 conference Players of the Year, one conference Newcomer of the Year, 40 All-State/All-Region players, 46 All-Conference and 35 All-Conference honorable mention players.  Gamble, who spent most of his coaching career in the junior college ranks, had a Top 20 National Ranking in 14 of his 15 junior college seasons.

“We are very excited to have Coach Gamble lead our volleyball program,” Koegel said. “He is a proven winner with almost 800 career wins, and he has been successful throughout his coaching career.”

Gamble looks to continue his success at Jacksonville State with the help of first year assistant coach Ben Kaszeta.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity at Jacksonville State University,” Gamble said. “This program has been successful in the Ohio Valley Conference in the past, and I hope we can return back to the top of the league.”

The Gamecocks have seven letterwinners returning. Samantha Bohne, Victoria Cross, Nicole Merget, Trisha Mockapetris, Emily Rutherford, Laney Torkelson and Kaitlyn Zelhart are all returning for the 2014 season.

The Gamecocks open the 2014 season against Georgia State on Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. in the UAB/Samford Challenge in Birmingham. They will then play Samford at 7 p.m. the same day. The Gamecocks will face Michigan State and Southeastern Louisiana on Aug. 30. All of JSU’s games in the tournament will be played at Samford.

Marvel Robinson

Sports Editor

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