HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky has selected former Norse All-American Liz Holmes as its next head volleyball coach, NKU director of athletics Dr. Scott Eaton announced Friday.
Holmes, who guided NKU to the NCAA Division II Tournament last season as interim head coach, is the Norse’s all-time career leader with 1,850 kills. She served as an assistant coach at NKU from 2008 until last fall, when she was appointed interim head coach.
Holmes directed a young NKU squad to a 20-14 overall record last season, and the team posted a 10-4 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. It marked the 18th consecutive year in which NKU reached the 20-win plateau.
“We had an outstanding group of candidates interested in the position, but Liz really stood out and I’m excited that she is going to be our next head volleyball coach,” Eaton said. “While Liz has been part of our history and past success, she has a vision for where she wants to take the program and a plan to bring it to the next level. Since joining the coaching staff three years ago, Liz has also been instrumental in bringing in very good recruits.
“She showed everyone as the interim head coach last fall that she can successfully direct the program. Liz represented all of the qualities that we were seeking when we began our search, and she is the right fit to lead this program.”
A graduate of Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati, Holmes began her NKU playing career by collecting GLVC Freshman of the Year in 2004. She later earned honorable mention All-America accolades from the AVCA as a sophomore and junior.
As a senior, Holmes was named GLVC Player of the Year, Great Lakes Region Player of the Year and the GLVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for volleyball. Holmes also led NKU to a 26-9 record and helped the Norse secure a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. She later was named to both the AVCA and Daktronics All-America first teams.
Holmes led the GLVC in hitting percentage her final three years. In addition, she finished seventh all-time in NKU history with 1,191 career digs and second in block assists with 291.
After earning the Margery Rouse Athlete of Distinction Award from the NKU athletic council, Holmes was later named the GLVC’s 2007-08 Woman of the Year. She also earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and was a four-time member of the GLVC All-Academic squad.
“I am very humbled and excited about this opportunity,” Holmes said. “Almost seven years ago, I chose NKU because of this program’s tradition of excellence on the court and in the classroom. Over that time I’ve developed so many great relationships with the people at NKU and in this community. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
“The chance to build upon the amazing foundation laid by the coaches and players that have been a part of this program is such a privilege. I’m really excited about this group of girls that we have returning, and the class of recruits we’ve signed for the 2011 season. I want to thank Dr. Eaton and his entire staff for this opportunity, and the trust they’ve shown in me.”