Three NCAA Tournament appearances, five All-Region selections, eight selections to an All-SEC team and the program's first All-American ... that's what Joe Getzin has done over the last seven seasons as he has brought Rebel volleyball to the forefront of the SEC in his tenure as head coach.
When Getzin was hired as the sixth head coach of the volleyball program at Ole Miss in 2002, it was with sights fixed on the goal of taking a program that had experienced success in the past and moving it to the next level.
Getzin took the reins of the Rebels with a reputation as a recruiter, a necessary piece of the puzzle to building a program. He hit the ground running, put together an outstanding coaching staff and turned recruiting up a notch, filling the roster with athletes that include All-State and All-America selections.
Just three years ago, Getzin pulled in the 23rd-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to PrepVolleyball - the first ranked recruiting class in Ole Miss history. The results of those recruiting efforts have never been clearer.
Eleven years after taking control of the squad, the Rebel volleyball program is coming off three appearances in the NCAA Tournament over the last seven years and a pair of record-setting seasons. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place under Getzin, who has twice been named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year in 2006.
"When we hired Joe 10 years ago, our goal was to accomplish exactly what we have seen the past few seasons," said Lynnette Johnson, Senior Associate Athletics Director. "Our goal was to compete at a high level in the Southeastern Conference, go to the NCAA Tournament and compete for championships. We wanted to put Ole Miss Volleyball on the map. We're there now, and we are excited about continuing to build on the groundwork laid as we continue to get better."
"It's exciting to finally see the hard work paying off." Getzin said. "When I was hired, I knew Ole Miss had a lot to offer and was truly a diamond in the rough. It's great to see all of the pieces start falling into place. I look forward to continuing to build on that."
In addition to quality recruiting, the Getzin era has seen facility improvements, increased attendance and excitement at home matches. With these elements in place and a continued commitment from the administration, Getzin and Ole Miss have the foundation laid to sustain success.
Most recently, Ole Miss completed a new renovation to the Gillom Center in 2010. The Rebels moved the court and added 350 chairback seats to completely surround the court and add to the frenzied excitement that has become Rebel Volleyball at the Gillom Center.
Over the last seven seasons, the Rebels have seen the work in laying that foundation pay off. Under Getzin's tutelage the Rebels have seen seven All-SEC selections Jaclyn Toohey (2006) Rachel Kieckhaefer (2007, 2008) and Regina Thomas (2010, 2011), as well as five All-Freshman team selections in Nakeyta Clair (2012), Whitney Craven (2009), Ty Laporte (2012), Thomas (2008) and Jackie Jones (2007).
Toohey and Kieckhaefer also earned All-Region honors in 2006 and 2007, respectively, while helping lead the Rebels to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Rebels returned to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in 2010 behind the play of a pair of All-Region selections in Miranda Kitts and Thomas. The return trip to the post-season wasn't the only feather added to the Getzin era's cap that season, as Thomas also became the program's first All-American when she was selected for third team honors by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She followed that up with All-America honorable mention honors in 2011.
BACK-TO-BACK RECORD SEASONS
In his first four seasons, Getzin showed fans that the excitement of Ole Miss Volleyball was returning. The fans bought into that and created a frenzied environment each weekend when the Rebels took the court, supporting the program through the rebuilding stages.
Season five saw that hard work and support from the Oxford and Ole Miss community culminate in one of the best seasons in the program's 30-year history with the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006. The fans were rewarded again in 2007 as the Rebels raised the bar once more with another post-season berth.
In 2007, Ole Miss built on the successes of the 2006 season and posted the program's first 20-win season since 1989, going 25-8 and earning a second straight NCAA Tournament berth. The season opened with a bang as the Rebels defeated No. 20 Missouri in the first match of the season and never slowed down.
Ole Miss also turned in a spectacular performance in conference play, posting a 14-6 record in SEC play to set the school record for conference wins. The Rebels finished third in the overall standings, their best finish since the 1982 season when only six league teams competed in the sport.
The Rebels earned a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, falling to BYU in the first round to bring an unbelievable season to a close.
For the second straight season, Getzin was named SEC Coach of the Year and Rebel athletes earned post-season accolades as Rachel Kieckhaefer was named All-SEC second team and Jackie Jones became the first SEC All-Freshman Team selection in school history. Kieckhaefer was also named an All-South Region honorable mention selection.
Under Getzin's guidance, Ole Miss exploded on the scene in 2006 as the Rebels finished fifth in the SEC and tied a school record for league wins not seen since 1979. Ole Miss posted a 19-13 record, including a 10-10 mark in the SEC, and the Rebels took down 11th-ranked LSU in the season finale for the program's first win over a ranked opponent.
The signature win of the Getzin era also propelled the team to the program's first NCAA Tournament berth, as Ole Miss took to the road and faced fifth-seeded Southern California in the opening round of the tournament.
In addition to the win over LSU, Ole Miss also posted a season sweep of Western Division rival Arkansas for the first time in program history. The Rebels went on to sweep Georgia and Auburn while taking wins over Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina.
Getzin's work in the turnaround of the Rebel program did not go unnoticed as he was named SEC Coach of the Year and was tabbed South Region Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. He was also a finalist for National Coach of the Year.
The 2006 season also saw a Rebel earn All-SEC honors for the first time since 2000 as senior captain Jaclyn Toohey was named to the All-SEC second team, marking the first player to receive all-conference honors under Getzin at Ole Miss. Toohey was also named All-South Honorable Mention by the AVCA.
LAYING THE FOUNDATION AT OLE MISS
After being solidly competitive at home in the first two seasons, the Rebels took to the road and claimed big victories for the program in the 2004 campaign. Ole Miss claimed a road victory over LSU, the first win in Baton Rouge in almost 10 years, before continuing with a road win over the Kentucky Wildcats. The win over Kentucky on the road was the first for the Rebels over the Wildcats since 1997.
Ole Miss also picked up the program's first win over Baylor, storming to the Magnolia Invitational title with a 3-0 win over the Bears. Senior Elena Garcia played her way into the NCAA Record Books in the match as she served 18 consecutive points for the Rebels in a 30-11 game two win.
Getzin has also brought the annual Magnolia Invitational to a level of a premiere tournament with prominent programs like Texas, Missouri, Pittsburgh and NC State making the trip to Oxford to compete in the event.
The Rebels have steadily improved performance in the competitive SEC under Getzin's leadership. In his first two seasons, the Rebels posted back-to-back season sweeps over Auburn and arch-rival Mississippi State. The Rebels added to the win total with a 3-2 upset of LSU that saw fans rush the court in celebration. In 2003, the Rebels' five SEC wins tied the most conference wins for the program since the 1997 season when Ole Miss tallied seven conference victories.
The excitement that is buzzing around Oxford and Ole Miss Volleyball has been seen in the fan participation as well. The Rebels have hosted all of the top five crowds at Ole Miss in the Getzin era.
In 2002, Getzin's first season, more than 1,300 fans turned out to watch Ole Miss take down arch-rival Mississippi State in a 3-0 match. It marked the largest crowd to see a volleyball match at the University of Mississippi in the 28-year history of the program.
In the 2003 season, Getzin added three more to the top-five list with crowds of more than 400 showing up to watch the Rebels defeat LSU and Mississippi State, while more than 500 fans turned out to watch the Rebels take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
Since that time, the Rebels have continued to shuffle the list as the crowds continue to grow at the Gillom Sports Center.
In Getzin's first season, the Rebels improved the previous year's record by four wins and attendance nearly tripled. Fans experienced the excitement of volleyball with the addition of bleachers behind the court, allowing spectators to be right on top of the action. The squad posted its first sweep of arch-rival Mississippi State since 1997, and the largest crowd (1,378) ever to witness a volleyball match at Ole Miss saw the Rebels down MSU 3-0 on Oct. 16. Individually, junior Elena Garcia led the team with 260 kills and 267 digs. She went over 500 in both categories for her career.
Off the court, the Rebels have shown incredible success in the academic arena. Ole Miss has had 59 selections to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and 15 selections to the Freshman Academic Honor Roll. In addition, since Getzin has taken over the program, 50 members of the squad have made one of the University's three honor rolls. In 2006, the squad also captured the Chancellor's Cup for having the highest cumulative GPA of any athletic team on campus.
In addition to the Chancellor's Cup, the team claimed the AVCA/Gameplan Award for the first time in 2006, as a program that boasted a team GPA above the 3.3 mark. Ole Miss was one of only two SEC schools and only 55 in the nation to earn the award. The Rebels followed that up by claiming the award again in 2007 and accomplished the feat for a third-straight season in 2008.
"I am proud of the team for making the grade in the classroom," Getzin said. "It demonstrates their commitment to not only competing at the highest level on the court, but in the classroom as well. They will be successful in the future."
AT SOUTH CAROLINA
Prior to taking the position with the Rebels, Getzin served as the top assistant coach at South Carolina from 2000-2001. At South Carolina, Getzin was responsible for recruiting, conditioning and technical training. In 2000, the Gamecocks posted a 22-7 overall record and their best-ever conference record at 12-2 in the SEC. USC was selected to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time. In 2001, South Carolina finished with a 20-6 overall record, 10-4 in the SEC, and reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in seven years.
He previously served as an assistant coach for the Gamecocks from 1993-95 and assisted in recruiting several top players, including Ashley Edlund, Heather Larkin and Shani Abshier. Larkin and Edlund were named All-SEC four consecutive years, and Abshier was the 1998 Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
PRIOR TO SOUTH CAROLINA
Prior to re-joining South Carolina for the 2000 season, Getzin spent one year as the head coach at the University of Portland. While at Portland, his team achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.34 and he signed Sara Engstrom, the MVP of the Junior National Championship.
Getzin went to Portland following a stint as head coach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., from 1997-1999. In his second year at Embry-Riddle, his team was ranked regionally throughout the season in the NAIA. He was the Director of the Yavapai Junior Volleyball Club from 1995 until 1999. Working as the director, Getzin oversaw more than 100 volleyball players from ages 10-18.
Getzin was an assistant coach at the University of Arizona from 1988-91, as the Wildcats went to the NCAA Tournament in both 1989 and 1990. Prior to joining the Wildcats, Getzin was the coach of the Southern Arizona junior team.
Beginning his coaching career in 1987, Getzin coached the Chicago Breeze, a team in the women's Major League Volleyball. He served as head coach at Saint Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill., from 1986-87.
Getzin also served as the Western Zonal Coordinator for the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival.
Getzin received his bachelor's degree in Physical Education from George Williams College in Downers Grove, Ill., in 1986. Getzin and his wife, Andrea, have two children: Sara Rose and Erin Elizabeth.
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