Changing coaches: volleyball’s new strategy


Courtesy of University Communication and Creative Services

Jeremy White has been selected to be the new head volleyball coach after Jim Smoot retired. Athletic Director Jay Artigues described White as “having a great deal of success and experience.”

After Jim Smoot retired from his position as head coach, the volleyball program began a new chapter with Jeremy White stepping up to the head coach position.

“Coach White checked all the boxes we were looking for,” explained Jay Artigues, director of athletics. “He’s had a great deal of success and experience at both indoor volleyball as well as sand volleyball. We will be adding sand as a varsity sport next spring so that was a huge factor.”

Artigues discussed why White stood out from the other candidates.

“Coach White mainly stuck out because of the plan he laid out to help the program achieve success,” stated Artigues. “He followed the mission statement of our department, excellence in the classroom, in the community and in competition.”

Artigues explained what White can bring to the volleyball program.

“I think coach brings not only a tremendous amount of knowledge of the game but a lot of passion,” expressed Artigues. “He also brings a lot of energy that will propel our program into a conference contender.”

With a combined five wins and 54 losses over the past two seasons, Artigues expects the new head coach to change the record.

“My expectations are the same for coach White’s as they are for all university coaches,” said Artigues. “I want them to develop our student-athletes into young men and young women. I want them to do it by adhering to the mission statement of our department.”

White, a native of Vidor, Texas, reflected on his life prior to becoming the university’s 13th head coach.

“I didn’t even play volleyball growing up,” shared White. “My sports days started out with me playing baseball. I played all the way up until the college level. I never thought I would be a volleyball coach. My volleyball days started out as an undergraduate student at McNeese State University. From McNeese, I went on to coach club and then onto high school coaching.”

Learning from people like Lee McBride, volleyball head coach for McNeese, helped White in his coaching career.

“Lee took me under his wing and taught me everything I know about the sport,” said White. “He is possibly one of the best coaches I have ever been around hands down. Having him as a mentor especially through my undergrad with him, I would spend six or more hours a day with him in his office going over the x’s and o’s.”

Working his way to coaching at a division one university appealed to White.

“It has been a grind going through the high school ranks and the JUCO levels,” said White. “After that, being a division one assistant head coach and then division two head coach, it feels great to be here. It’s been a dream come true to get to this point and level in my career. It’s really exciting to have a well-funded program and hopefully try to turn around a place that hasn’t been as successful as we’d like it to be.”

The indoor volleyball team has recently wrapped up their 2018 season finishing with a 2-27 record, but they look to put that behind them as the university is adopting sand volleyball as a NCAA sport in the spring of 2019.

White discussed his favorite part about coaching.

“I like seeing the student athletes grow into women and succeed,” shared White. “I have got to do it from 8-year-old kids all the way up to the collegiate levels, and it’s pretty amazing.”

White hopes to help improve the university’s indoor volleyball team.

“We want to teach them that winning is a byproduct of their environment, and we’re going to have to work really hard in the weight room and build a winning culture around the girls,” explained White. “We are going to start recruiting harder in Louisiana and then hopefully on to other states.”