Chadron State Athletics

CHADRON, Neb. – Natasha Marquis, a graduate assistant at the University of Nebraska-Kearney for the past three seasons, has been hired as the head women's volleyball coach at Chadron State College, athletic director Brad Smith announced Tuesday.

Marquis, a native of King City, Calif., replaces Amy Spruiell, who resigned in November.

“We certainly had some quality candidates for the job,” Smith said. “It was a tough decision to make but we feel we have an excellent young coach in Natasha and I’m eager to see what she can do with our volleyball program.”

Marquis joined the UNK staff in the summer of 2008 and she helped guide the Lopers to three consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships. The Lopers also qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs three times and had a cumulative record of 96-12, including a 54-2 mark in the RMAC.

In 2010, UNK advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II National Championship and ended the season ranked fifth in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll.

Marquis is hoping her accomplishments as an assistant translate to success at Chadron State.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity and I appreciate the support I’ve received,” she said. “I truly enjoyed everyone I met while in Chadron. It’s going to be a great atmosphere and I’m looking forward to all the potential this team has.

“I want to get back to the basics and I see a lot of passion in these girls. This is a great situation because the quality these girls possess. I’m excited to see where our strengths lie because I know we have them, and then we can tackle our weaknesses one at a time.”

Marquis inherits a squad with 10 returning letter winners. In 2010, the Eagles had a 2-24 overall record.

“I’m really hoping to help establish a new culture for the team,” she said. “There is a lot of potential and a lot of great things can happen and I hope I can help steer us in the right direction.”

She also said she’ll emphasize hard work in the classroom.

“Academics are the biggest thing to me,” she said. “I want kids who are strong academically because you need to be a student before you’re an athlete and that’s important in Division II. I want to help these girls gain success for life after volleyball.”

In addition to her coaching duties at UNK, Marquis was an assistant coach for the Nebraska Gold club team and was an assistant director and coach for the Lopers’ summer volleyball camps.

She had a solid collegiate career as a right side and middle hitter at Division I Albany (N.Y.) for two years after playing two seasons at Butte College in California.

For the Albany Great Danes, Marquis was part of a program that won 44 matches in 2006 and 2007.

At Butte, she hit .319 and averaged 2.44 kills per game as a sophomore, helping the Roadrunners win a second consecutive Golden Valley Conference title.