Ole Miss went 2-0 on the opening day of the Buffalo Classic including a 3-0 win over Canisius and Siena.
A winner on every level of coaching, Steven McRoberts was hired on Jan. 16, 2014, to take Ole Miss volleyball to the top of the SEC and make it relevant on the national stage.
It's safe to say, the Rebels are well on their way.
McRoberts inherited a team that in the two years prior posted a 26-34 overall record and finished at the bottom of the SEC standings. The Rebels have posted four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in three decades, won 12 regular season tournament titles, set numerous team and individual records, and players have earned All-America, All-Region and All-SEC honors.
A historic season capped McRoberts fourth year at the helm, as the Rebels captured the NIVC Championship and set numerous team and individual records. A few close five-set losses in conference play ended the Rebels NCAA Tournament chances, but they took advantage of their opportunity to play in the first NIVC Tournament since the mid 90s. Led by the senior duo of Kate Gibson and Lexi Thompson and NIVC tournament MVP Emily Stroup, the Rebels won six in a row to end the season, including five straight on their way to the NIVC title. They only dropped one set in all five postseason matches played at the newly-renovated Gillom Athletics Performance Center.
Records continued to fall, as the Rebels equaled the most wins in the rally era (22) and set single-season team marks for kills (1,846), assists (1,708), digs (2,238) and blocks (294). Gibson and Thompson became the first members of the 1000/1000 Club at Ole Miss in the rally era, while Thompson secured the career record for kills and aces. Stroup set the single-season kills record (474) and earned AVCA All-South Region honors, while Caroline Adams set the single-season digs record (522). The team also set a single-season attendance record with 13,168 fans coming to Gillom, including a season-high 1,012 for the NIVC Championship match.
In 2016, the Rebels posted their third straight winning season (17-14), which included three tournament titles. Senior setter Aubrey Edie became the career-record holder in assists with 4,834 and joined Thompson on the AVCA All-South Region Team. Thompson led the SEC in double-doubles (21) and set the single-season record for kills with 437. Both Thompson and Gibson tallied their 1,000th kill.
In 2015, the Rebels equaled the most wins (22-11) since the 2007 season in addition to setting the school record with 13 home wins. Nakeyta Clair and the late Ty Laporte were named to the AVCA All-Region team, while Clair earned All-SEC honors. Clair became the school record holder, in total blocks, block assists, block solos and hitting percentage while also surpassing 1,000 kills to rank second all-time with 1,177.
In his first year (2014) at Ole Miss, McRoberts guided the Rebels to their best record (22-10) in seven years and the best start in program history (14-0). The Rebels battled for an NCAA Tournament bid and posted a school-record team hitting percentage in a season (.254) in 2014.
Several individual accomplishments also highlighted McRoberts first year in Oxford. Clair became the first All-American since Regina Thomas earned back-to-back honors in 2010-11 and also earned All-SEC and AVCA All-Region honors. Edie set the single season record for assists with 1,322 and Thompson had the most kills (323) in a season by a freshman.
While setting records on the court, the Rebels have also succeeded in the classroom, earning the highest semester team grade point average (3.37) in seven years in the spring of 2017 and receiving the AVCA All-Academic Team Award for the first time since 2008. Edie became the first two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in program history and the first Rebel volleyball player to earn first team honors. She received a Taylor Medal in 2016, the highest academic honor at the University of Mississippi as well as an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. In addition, the Rebels have earned a perfect 100 graduation success rate seven consecutive years.
A 10-time conference coach of the year, McRoberts boasts a lengthy list of accolades in his 21 years as a head coach at Lubbock Christian University, Central Arkansas, Tulsa and now Ole Miss. He has compiled a career record of 557-212 (.724 winning percentage), including six seasons with 30-plus wins and 19 seasons with 20-plus wins.
At Tulsa, McRoberts compiled a 78-24 record with two Conference USA regular season titles, a Conference USA Tournament Championship and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2013, McRoberts coached Tulsa to a 24-7 overall record (12-2 C-USA).
In his second year at Tulsa, McRoberts led the Hurricane to a 26-10 ledger and a 14-2 conference mark. TU won the 2012 C-USA regular season and tournament championship, as the Hurricane made its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament under McRoberts.
In 2011, his first season as head coach of the Golden Hurricane, TU posted a 28-7 overall record, 18-2 in league play, and won the C-USA Championship. He was named C-USA and AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year. The team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
While leading the Golden Hurricane, McRoberts coached five All-America selections, including the NCAA's career leader in kills during the 25-point rally scoring era, and the school's all-time digs leader. He also coached the C-USA player of the year and the libero of the year in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to his appointment at Tulsa, McRoberts served six years as head coach at the University of Central Arkansas, where he compiled a record of 146-58, and won at least 20 games in five of those seasons. His last two teams won back-to-back Southland Conference regular season titles and posted a 31-1 league mark during that stretch. McRoberts was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He coached the SLC player and setter of the year those three years and also boasted the league freshman of the year in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 and the libero of the year in 2009.
In 2013, McRoberts was one of seven coaches named to the Southland Conference All-Time Honor Roll.
Before taking the reins at UCA, McRoberts compiled a 250-81 record during his eight-year tenure at Lubbock Christian University in Texas. His teams won seven conference championships and three region championships in eight years. McRoberts led LCU to its highest national ranking (4th), highest postseason finish (T5th), and most wins in a season (38) and career (250 - held record until 2014). Six times he was named Sooner Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and three times he earned Region Coach of the Year honors.
McRoberts received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in social studies and health from Harding (Ark.) University in 1993, and his master's in physical education from Henderson State (Ark.) in 1996.
McRoberts and his wife, Stacy, have three children: sons, Jackson and Nathaniel, and daughter, Mollie.
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