Louisville has recently added a new assistant, Kolby O’Donnell to their staff.
O’Donnell was previously with UC Santa Barbara as their top assistant coach since 2013. There he served as the teams defensive coordinator, organizing opponent scouting and blocking schemes. O’Donnell also served as the recruiting coordinator for the program.
With many contacts around the country, O’Donnell will bring in a ton of recruiting connectiosn for Louisville, to help improve the program and adding to the new coaching staff that Dani Busboom Kelly is building.
Courtesy of Louisville Athletics
Kolby O’Donnell, an assistant at UC-Santa Barbara, has joined the University of Louisville volleyball coaching staff according to head coach Dani Busboom Kelly.
“It was a great day for Louisville volleyball when Kolby O’Donnell accepted the assistant coach position,” said Busboom Kelly. “Kolby is an experienced coach and a fantastic recruiter. He has connections across the United States and will be a great representative for Louisville volleyball. I feel extremely blessed to have him a part of our staff and I know he will not only make our team and culture better, he will challenge Dan and I to be better coaches. Kolby is passionate about coaching and more importantly about making a difference in our athletes’ lives. I know our Cardinals fans will fall in love with his work ethic as well as embrace his family like they have mine.”
O’Donnell comes to Louisville after spending four seasons as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara. There, he was the top assistant since arriving in Santa Barbara before the 2013 season as head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch’s first staffing move as the head of the program. He served as the defensive coordinator for the squad, organizing opponent scouting and blocking game plans. In practice, he mainly worked with the outside hitters, opposites, liberos, and middle blockers. O’Donnell also served as the recruiting coordinator for the program.
“I’d like to thank Tom Jurich, Christine Herring and of course, Dani Busboom Kelly for this incredible opportunity. My family and I are extremely humbled and honored to be joining the Louisville volleyball family,” said O’Donnell. ” It was clear to me during my interview process just how committed the University is to providing everything needed for the student-athletes and the volleyball program to be successful. I cannot wait to hit the recruiting trail and to get into the gym with the team.”
Along with helping guide the Gauchos to their 2013 Big West Championship, O’Donnell has also played a pivotal role in securing three top-30 recruiting classes in the past four years, including UCSB’s No. 18 ranked 2015 recruiting class, which is the highest ranking in program history. In the 2016 season, he helped the Gauchos add nine wins to their total from the previous season to close out the year at 17-12, 8-8. He left UCSB with the cupboard full as first-year players Lindsey Ruddins and Hannah Juley finished in the top four in the Big West in kills and assists per set, respectively, while taking home six of the first 12 Big West Freshman of the Week awards. Freshmen Chloe Allen (1.97 kills per set), Rowan Ennis (1.67) and Megan Rice (1.52) all also provided consistent offensive production at different times during the season.
In the 2015 season, he helped Phoebe Grunt and Emilia Petrachi earn all-conference selections with each receiving honorable mentions. In 2014, he helped guide Ali Barbeau to First Team All-Big West accolades, and Chanel Hoffman and Ali Spindt to honorable mentions.
O’Donnell helped guide UCSB to a Big West Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance in his first year with the team in 2013. Working with outside hitters and middle blockers that year, he coached Ali Barbeau (OH), Phoebe Grunt (MB), and Ali Spindt (OH) to all-conference status.
O’Donnell previously served as an assistant for Lantagne Welch at the University of Miami in 2012, where he helped the Hurricanes to a 25-6 overall record in what was one of program’s marquee seasons in school history. Under Lantagne Welch and O’Donnell’s tutelage, Miami won a program-record 17 conference games and finished within one game of the ACC Championship.
Prior to his stint at Miami, O’Donnell was on the staff at Appalachian State, serving as assistant coach from 2008-10 and as associate head coach in 2011-12. O’Donnell also served as recruiting Coordinator for the Mountaineers.
His first coaching stop was at Radford University, where he was an assistant from 2006-08.
O’Donnell’s teams have had a propensity for strong blocking. In 2012, Miami’s middles averaged 2.90 blocks per set, a program record, including a 23 block effort at Clemson. In 2009, Appalachian State finished thirteenth in the nation in blocks per set. Last year, the Gauchos were ranked third in the Big West with 2.36 per set and led the league in service aces with 1.62 per set.
O’Donnell also had a successful playing career, captaining the Lees-McRae College Bobcats for two of his four years, leading them to a 66-26 record.
He and his wife, Taukia, have two sons: Remington (Remy) and Jameson.