Former Macalester College volleyball standout and assistant coach Sarah Graves ’04 has been hired as the Scots’ head volleyball coach, Director of Athletics Kim Chandler announced today. Graves has spent the past two seasons as the head coach at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.
“We are thrilled to have Sarah return to Macalester to lead our volleyball program,” Chandler said. “She displayed all of the tools and characteristics of an outstanding coach while serving as an assistant here, and that potential shined through during her two years as Denison’s head coach. Sarah will be an excellent leader for our student-athletes, and we look forward to seeing where she can take our program in the years to come.”
In her two years at Denison, Graves posted an overall record of 25-31, including a 9-7 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference. In 2015, the Big Red was 14-14 and advanced to the NCAC Tournament with a 5-3 record in league play while also earning the AVCA Team Academic Award. This past fall Graves led her squad to the semifinals of the NCAC Tournament and had three of her student-athletes receive NCAC All-Conference honors.
In addition to her coaching duties, Graves taught three courses, including a History and Philosophy of Physical Education and Sport class. She chaired the event committee for the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and was a member of the Denison Black Faculty Caucus.
Prior to coaching at Denison, Graves was an assistant coach at Macalester for six seasons. She helped to coordinate the program’s recruiting, practice and game management, and also worked with the liberos and defensive specialists. While at Macalester, Graves spent four years as the Assistant Athletic Director for Recruiting, collaborating with the athletics department and admissions to refine the recruiting process.
A 2004 graduate of Macalester with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Media Studies, Graves was a four-year starter for the Scots’ volleyball team. She played on the 2000 squad that went 22-8 and reached the semifinals of the MIAC playoffs, and earned All-MIAC honors in 2001. A setter and right side hitter, Graves ranks third on Macalester’s all-time list for block assists (218), third in service aces (173), fourth in assists (2,167) and eighth in digs (1,026). A three-time captain, she also was named the team’s MVP in 2001.
After Macalester, Graves earned a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Delaware, where she also served as a graduate assistant for the Blue Hens’ volleyball program for two seasons.
“I would like to thank Kim Chandler and the search committee for providing me with this opportunity to return to Macalester and lead the program that has given me so much over the years,” Graves said. “I am energized at the thought of bringing my passion and experience back to Macalester volleyball, and I am motivated to move this program and its student-athletes forward to achieve at a higher level. With the outstanding support from the athletics department and the administration at Macalester, I am confident that we can reach our goals and build a successful program.”
Graves replaces former coach Annie Doman, who resigned to take a position in Macalester’s Career Development Center.
News courtesy of Macalester Athletics.