Welsh to Lead Volleyball Program
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Columbia College Athletic Director announced the appointment of Katie Welsh to take the helm of The Fighting Koalas volleyball program as the Head Coach.
Welsh came to Columbia College in summer of 2007 from Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, TN. She became Assistant Coach under Brian Solomon in the spring of 2008. While at Columbia she has helped lead Columbia to one of the most successful programs in Columbia College’s history. In 2009 she assisted the team to their first ever 20+ win season with a 24-9 overall record and a third place finish in the Southern States Athletic Conference. The Fighting Koalas were recognized for 10 awards that season including some of the conference’s top honors: Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, as well as the co-recipient of the sportsmanship award.
This past season Columbia competed in the Appalachian Athletic Conference and finished their season with an overall record 25-12 and saw the conference tournament semi-finals-first in the program’s history. The 2011 season saw the program receive honors at both the conference and national level with sophomore, Jacqui Anderson receive AAC setter of the year and named to the AVCA All-Region team. Senior Erica Allman was honored as the 2012 AAC Libero of the Year.
Welsh has a combined record of 80-55 as the Assistant Coach at Columbia and has been mentored by previous Head Coach, Brian Solomon for the past 4 seasons. Upon the announcement of her appointment Athletic Director, Kelly Cox had this to say about Welsh taking over, “I am very excited to have Katie Welsh become our new head volleyball coach here at Columbia College. I know that Katie has worked hard to prepare herself for this new role and that she will continue to lead the team in an effective and successful manner.”
Welsh is excited about the future of the program and expects Columbia‘s volleyball program to be one of the strongest at the institution, “I’ve helped build this program for the past 4 seasons and it has been an amazing journey. As a program we will continue to be known for our technical efficiency, aggressive serving, and more importantly our character on and off the court. I’ve seen first-hand how important the little details are to the game and couldn’t have asked for more in my mentor Brian Solomon or in my past Athletic Director, Ana Oliver. They both shaped me into the person and coach I am today and I’m excited about Brian’s opportunity with the Montana Tech volleyball program, they’ve snagged a gem.”
When asked about the team Welsh commented on their bond as a family “The girls who are here are a family. It’s obvious when you see them play together. I think one of the hardest things as a coach is to foster team chemistry and I’m lucky to have a team who not only has pride in themselves and each other but for the reputation they’ve built on and off the court. I’m not going to let anyone tarnish that.”
For now Welsh continues to work with the team in the off-season, round out the 2012 recruiting class, and finish her graduate degree this May in Sports Administration from Western Kentucky University. The Fighting Koalas open their 2012 season this August.