Former Player Joins UST Volleyball as Assistant Coach
The University of St. Thomas welcomes another volleyball alumna as the Celts begin the 2014-2015 season. Mary Anne Shaw ’08 will join Keanne Smith ’10 as the assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team.
Shaw transferred into St. Thomas to join the founding volleyball squad, where she was an outside hitter, but played every position.
“I was here when we were building the program,” Shaw said. “It was rough those first two years, but to see them get to nationals and continue to grow was great.”
Shaw, a finance major, has been coaching in various capacities since the age of 18; she began with private volleyball lessons in Porter, Texas, and coached club team Texas Thunder while at Lee College. After a brief hiatus post-graduation when she worked for a financial consulting firm, Shaw returned to coaching with the Capital City Elite in Washington, D.C.. Soon after that she received a call from Keanne Smith, who was the head volleyball at Hargrove High School in Huffman, Texas, at the time, asking if she would be interested in coaching at the high school.
Shaw spent the last year helping Smith train the young players during what became one of the best seasons in the school’s history. When Smith was asked to serve as the new head coach at UST, Shaw followed.
“I am really excited to work with Keanne,” Shaw said. “When you finding a coaching chemistry that works you want to stick with it.”
Coach Smith echoes these sentiments, expressing that she is also looking forward to working with Shaw again.
“It is really hard to find a working coach relationship,” Smith said. “I think because we are such good friends outside of coaching, we strategize well. That is part of the success that we had at Huffman: We had the best blocking record we have ever had, the best hitting record we have ever had, the best winning record and the most digs in a season, and it is because instead of having a single coach who has to spread herself thin, we can really go in depth to develop skills and make sure our players are up to par.”