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 McRoberts Era is off to a good start.
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 three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the mid 80s, won 11 regular season tournament titles, set numerous team and individual records, and players have earned All-America, All-Region and All-SEC honors.
Most recently, the Rebels posted their third straight winning season (17-14) in 2016, which included three tournament titles. The team also set the single-season attendance record with 10,006 fans coming to watch the Rebels at The Pavilion. Senior setter Aubrey Edie became the career-record holder in assists with 4,834 and joined junior outside hitter Lexi 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 fellow outside hitter Kate Gibson tallied their 1,000th kill and will head into the 2017 season with a chance to become the first Ole Miss members of the 1,000/1,000 club in the rally scoring era.
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 (3.35) in seven years in the fall of 2016. Five players were named to the Chancellor's Honor Roll. Topping the academic honors in 2016, Edie became the first two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in program history and the first Rebel volleyball player to earn first team honors.
A 10-time conference coach of the year, McRoberts boasts a lengthy list of accolades in his 19 years as a head coach at Lubbock Christian University, Central Arkansas, Tulsa and now Ole Miss. He has compiled a career record of 518-184 (.738 winning percentage), including six seasons with 30-plus wins and 18 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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