(Photo: James Powel/WCSN)
Athletic director Ray Anderson was quick to introduce Arizona State’s seventh women’s volleyball head coach, Stevie Mussie, less than a month after the departure of eight-year head coach Jason Watson at the end of last season.
The Sun Devils averaged about 19 wins a season and made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances under Watson, who took the job as head coach at the University of Arkansas.
Mussie has had her share of accomplishments, winning the 2005 NCAA championship as a player for the University of Washington and the 2014 NCAA championship as an assistant coach for Penn State.
In her college career, Mussie averaged about four kills per set and 2.5 digs per set as an outside hitter for the Huskies. She finished fifth all time at Washington for both kills per set and points per set.
She’s taken what she’s learned as a player with her through her coaching career. Her coaching style is similar to how she carried herself as a player.
“There’s only one way to do it and it’s as hard as you can with everything you got,” Mussie said. “My style is casual and fun but very intense and focused at the same time.”
In her two years as assistant coach of the Nittany Lions, the team averaged about 14 kills per set and 13 assists per set. Penn State allowed 11.1 kills per set and went 64-9 with her as assistant coach.
In addition to her most recent stint at Penn State, Mussie was an assistant coach for Virginia, North Carolina State, and Colorado.
In her first season as head coach, Mussie will look to make Arizona State an even more successful program than it’s been in the past.
“I am looking forward to being the head coach here at ASU and creating a program that is consistently elite, not only in the Pac-12, but also nationally,” Mussie said.
Being a new coach with only seven returning players from last year’s roster, Mussie has made the most of their road trip together. She is instilling a sense of family and sisterhood to this team.
“We were on the road for five days together and we ate all our meals at my parents’ house. They got to kind of become an even further part of my family,” Mussie said. “When they’re on the road I tell them all the time to be together because at the end of the day your coaches don’t matter. It’s whether or not you’re willing to play for each other.”
Her motto for the team is all about seizing the opportunity: “You have one opportunity. Every match is an opportunity for someone to see you for the first time. What impression are you going to leave on them?”