Napier Steps Down at Missouri Southern
RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:
Joplin, Mo. – Missouri Southern volleyball coach John Napier has tendered his resignation effective immediately in order to pursue other opportunities outside of coaching.
Napier has been the head coach for the Missouri Southern volleyball team the past four years and the program has seen considerate improvement since he took the reins. In four years, Napier has more wins (27) than the previous two coaches (9) had prior to him.
This past season, the Lions had many highlights under Napier. The team had its best overall record since the 2010 season and the Lions earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award, while also being named to the Honor Roll, which is given to the top-25 GPA’s nationally in Division II.
The Lions have consistently had one of, if not the top, GPA of all sports in the athletic department under Napier. This past academic year, Southern boasted a team GPA of 3.67. Each member of the team was a part of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll with three student-athletes maintaining perfect 4.00 GPA’s and no one on the team carrying below a 3.20 GPA.
On the court, the team ranked fifth in the MIAA in total blocks and was 32 nd in the NCAA Division II. Alicia Pickett led the MIAA in blocks per set and was second in total blocks. She ranked sixth nationally in total blocks and 18 th in blocks per set. Freshman Janelle Brehmwas second in the MIAA in attacks per set, fifth in kills per set and fifth in total kills. Fellow freshman Morgan Nash ranked fifth in the MIAA in assists per set and total assists, while ranking 54 th nationally in total assists.
Compared to the prior season, the Lions saw a 58 percent increase in hitting percentage, 35 percent increase in block assists and a 33 percent increase in total points.
In Napier’s four seasons, he has had eight All-MIAA selections, with three this year (Pickett, Nash and Brehm). The team has had 27 players named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll (this year yet to be announced) and the team has earned the AVCA Team Academic Award twice. Napier also helped coach the nation’s top blocker in 2014 as Callie Whestone led all of Division II in blocks per set and was second in total blocks.
Napier has also helped mentor two future head coaches as two of his assistants have gone on to be head coaches. Pricilla Morgan is the head coach at Texas Wesleyan and Alyssa Hanley is the head coach at Schreiner University.
Assistant coach Carly Sojka has been named the interim head coach and a search for Napier’s replacement will begin immediately.