For more on Coach Hayes, see the Jan. 15 edition of the Sports Journal

KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo has selected Heather Hayes to lead the women’s volleyball team in the upcoming 2013-2014 season. Hayes, a social studies teacher at Frankfort High School, wants to further expand on the success from previous inaugural NAIA season.

“I am thankful to be chosen as the next leader of the volleyball program,” said Hayes. “Former Coach Kristen Snoddy did a remarkable job laying the foundation of the program, and I would like to continue to elevate what she started.”

Hayes, a first-time college coach, played collegiate volleyball for the University of Montevallo (Georgia) and finished her career at the University of Indianapolis. She has coached at the club volleyball level for 12 years, most recently with the Indy Junior Volleyball Club, which will be advantageous in the recruiting process for IU Kokomo.

“We are excited to have coach Hayes come on board. She will help continue the momentum of the athletic program and get us to a new level,” said men’s basketball coach Jace Thompson. “She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will be assets to our program.”

Hayes also spent 11 years as the varsity head coach at Frankfort High School, amassing 262 wins and a .690 win percentage. She lead her alma mater to eight conference championships, five sectional championships, a trip to the elite eight, and a trip to the state finals.

“I look forward to getting to know the team, enhancing the level of play, and pushing the level of competition to new heights,” said Hayes. “Off the court, I hope to further build the positive image of the volleyball program in both the classroom and the community.”

The IUK volleyball team will not only have a new coach for the 2013-2014 seasons, but a place to call home. The Cougars have partnered with the City of Kokomo and the Kokomo-Center Township School Corp. to renovate the former Memorial Gym swimming pool into a college regulation sized basketball court that will also function as a volleyball court.

“This is the next step for our athletics programs,” said Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. “We’re excited to have a place our student athletes and their fans can call home, with IU Kokomo Cougars branding and colors. We appreciate this great opportunity to move our athletics forward.”

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