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Herber hired as Foresters' new head coach

COACH: 2016 Huntington University graduate Kelsey Herber will serve as the 14th head coach of the Foresters’ volleyball program.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington University athletic department announced on Wednesday that 2016 alumna Kelsey Herber has been hired as the new head coach of the Foresters’ volleyball team, becoming the 14th head coach in the program’s history.

“She’s obviously someone that’s very familiar with Huntington and the volleyball program, having played in it for four years and and then coached as an assistant for three,” said Huntington University Athletic Director Lori Culler. “That’s definitely something that was on the positive side of Kelsey’s (résumé).”

Herber is no stranger to Forester volleyball, as the Huntington graduate played volleyball in college and has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the team.

Though Herber has not been a head coach for a college team, she has spent five years coaching at Empowered Volleyball Academy and has coached at Purdue’s volleyball camps for the last few summers.

“Although she hasn’t had any head coaching experience at the college level, she has coached club and she’s coached at camps at Purdue and has had opportunities to learn from some of the best coaches in the country,” Culler said. “I think that we all have a lot of confidence in her ability to coach the game and to help her players develop to become better players. There are several boxes to check. We checked them all for Kelsey. We’re just really excited about watching her take over the program and see where she can lead them.”

Culler also expressed that Herber’s thorough understanding of volleyball within the Crossroads League helped with the decision, as Herber knows what it takes to be successful in what is a highly competitive and talented conference.

During her time on the court with the Foresters, Herber served as an outside hitter and earned Crossroads League All-Conference Honorable Mention recognition during her senior season.

According to Culler, Huntington University received approximately 15 applications for the head coach position. The hiring committee narrowed down the pool to four and conducted Skype interviews with the candidates to narrow down the search to two finalists.

Upon deciding on two finalists, the hiring committee conducted in-person interviews in late February to make their final decision.

“With our committee, Kelsey was the obvious choice, so we didn’t waste a lot of time in telling her that we would be offering her the position,” Culler said.

Herber earned a Bachelor of Art degree from Huntington in Broadcast Fusion Media and is currently working on gaining her masters from Huntington in counseling.

According to Culler, Herber had been unofficially serving as an interim coach after former head coach Kyle Shondell resigned to accept a coaching position at Indiana Tech in December.

Herber has also spent the last three years as an admissions counselor at Huntington, which should aid in her ability to recruit top-end talent and good fits for the program moving forward.

Culler also noted the hiring committee valued what the volleyball team had to say about their future coach. Many Foresters had nothing but great things to say about Herber and the impact she had already had on them during her time as an assistant coach.

“Having the opportunity to invest in a program and university that has invested in me is an honor,” Herber said in a press release. “I am eager to lead and disciple these young women who I already love dearly. … Forester volleyball has had a special place in my heart for the past seven years that I have been a part of it as a player and assistant coach. Therefore, I am grateful that God has now blessed me with the opportunity to step into the head coach role.”