Missouri State head coach Melissa Stokes filled out her coaching staff on Friday, promoting Adam Rollman from volunteer assistant and bringing in alumna Sara Thomas-Dietrich from the high school ranks.
Rollman was a volunteer assistant for the Bears in 2017 after spending two years as an assistant coach at Central Michigan (2015, 2016). The 2012 Nebraska alum got his start in coaching as a volunteer assistant at Creighton, Iowa and Nebraska Wesleyan. His first full time coaching job was an assistant coach at Jacksonville University (2014), where he helped the Dolphins to the Atlantic Sun Tournament title and an NCAA berth.
“I had the opportunity to really get to know Adam Rollman over this past season as he volunteered his time to assist with our program,” Stokes said in the announcement. “Not only was he a big part of our undefeated MVC season, this time also gave me an opportunity to witness his hard work and talents day in and day out. There was no doubt in my mind that if a position ever opened up in the future, Adam would be a great addition to our full-time staff. Our student-athletes could not be happier that Adam is becoming a full-time BEAR.”
Thomas-Dietrich, who played for the Bears from 2004-07, returns to Springfield after spending the last seven years as the head coach at her high school alma mater, Althoff Catholic in Belleville, Illinois. At Althoff, Thomas-Dietrich’s teams produced 10 collegiate players, five all-state honorees and three conference players of the year, while earning the coach two coach of the year nods.
In 2017, Althoff won the Illinois Class 3A state title and posted a 41-1 record.
As a collegian, Thomas-Dietriech was a part of three NCAA Tournament teams, including a second round appearance in 2006, while garnering Missouri Valley Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-MVC honors as a senior. All told, the 2009 alumna posted 797 kills, 1117 digs, 316 blocks and 288 assists in 131 matches at Missouri State.
“I have kept my eye on Sara after she graduated as I knew she was going to develop into a great coach,” Stokes said. “After winning a state championship this past fall as well as playing for Missouri State when we went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Sara knows what it takes to win at a high level. She is one of the best six-rotation players I have ever coached. Being named Defensive Player of the Year in the Valley for being able to block and defend proves that. She can train any position on the floor and will make an immediate impact in the development of both our middles and right sides. Her enthusiasm for coaching and passion for the Bears will make an impression on everyone she meets.”
The pair replaces Jeanette Waldo, who left to take the head coaching job at Tennessee Tech, and assistant coach Jake Barreau, who left to take the same role at Oklahoma.