Byrd Joins UNCP Athletic Staff As Head Volleyball Coach
PEMBROKE – Athletic department officials at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke announced the hiring of Angie Byrd as UNCP's eighth head volleyball coach.
Byrd takes over the reins of a very competitive program from former coach Jeff Billington who resigned in June to pursue other professional career opportunities. Byrd, who has already attained impeccable success in the junior college ranks at both Northwest Shoals (Ala.) Community College and Seminole State (Okla.) College, will begin her duties in the athletic department on August 1. She will also serve as a lecturer in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department at UNC Pembroke.
"UNCP wanted to find a dynamic and student-centered leader to become our volleyball coach. Angie brings to campus a proven track record as a head coach," said athletic director Dan Kenney. "I am confident that, in the seasons to come, she will continue to elevate our program"
Byrd, a former player at North Alabama, moved into the coaching realm as the head coach of Bradshaw High School in Florence, Ala., in 2003, but quickly transitioned to the college level as an assistant coach at Northwest-Shoals during the 2004-05 campaign. After a brief stint as a volleyball official in 2005-06, she took over as skipper of the Patriots in 2006 and led the program through an unprecedented string of success that included four NJCAA National Tournament appearances, as well as a quartet of conference and region titles. Her programs at NSCC regularly ranked among the nation's leaders in a handful of statistical categories, with Byrd also taking home a trio of conference and region coach of the year accolades.
Following the discontinuation of NSCC's athletic department in 2010, Byrd was hired on as the head coach at Seminole State and made her presence felt immediately by leading the Trojans to a program-best 35-5 clip, as well as the Region II championship and a runner-up finish in the district. Her SSC program also concluded the 2011 campaign ranked No. 13 in the final NJCAA Division I poll. Her team's efforts would also earn her Region II Coach of the Year laurels.
All told, Byrd totaled a 214-74 (.743) clip as a junior college head coach and mentored 27 all-region players, two region players of the year and a pair of all-Americans. A total of 21 of her players would go on to sign scholarship offers with four-year colleges, while 21 of her players at Northwest Shoals went on to successfully earn their associate degrees.
In addition to her experience at the collegiate level, Byrd has also served a stint as head coach of the Northwest Alabama Volleyball Club, while also serving as an instructor for the NWSCC, North Alabama and Seward County (Kan.) Community College Volleyball Camps.
"I am excited and truly grateful for the opportunity to work for a great institution," Byrd said. "I am ready to continue the success that Coach Jeff Billington has brought to UNCP Volleyball. I look forward to continuing building a high-caliber program for the future."
Byrd earned all-American honors as a sophomore at Seward County Community College after ranking first in the nation in blocks per game (2.52) and fourth, nationally, in hitting percentage (.472). She finished out her collegiate playing career at North Alabama, ranking third in the nation among middle blockers as a senior, and was then invited to participate in a European tour with the USA Junior National Team.
Byrd earned her Associate of Arts degree in psychology from SCCC in 2000 and earned her bachelor's degree in physical education from North Alabama in 2003. She would later earn a master's degree in physical education from UNA in 2005. She and her husband, Doug, are the proud parents of one daughter, Jordyn, and two sons, Jalen and Jamar.
UNC Pembroke was founded in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School to educate the American Indians of Robeson County and to prepare teachers for the public schools. From 1940 to 1953, it was the only state-supported four-year college for American Indians in the nation. Now one of the most diverse universities in the U.S., UNCP enrolls more than 6,000 students and offers than 41 undergraduate majors and 17 master's degree programs.