GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former Tusculum assistant coach and University of Alabama standout Abbi Blackburn has been hired as UNCG's next assistant volleyball coach, head coach Patrick Nicholas announced on Monday.
"I am happy to have someone of Abbi's caliber join our program," Nicholas said. "Throughout the interview process Abbi seemed to really stick out to me. The thing I like is that she brings another Division I mentality from a big-time school. She played at Alabama and her last two years there were probably their most successful in the history of their program. She knows success at the highest level and that's something that she will not only bring into our gym, but also into recruiting. This is an exciting time and I can't wait to work with her."
Blackburn has spent the past three seasons as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Tusculum College where she helped guide the program to unprecedented success.
"I'm really excited to join the UNCG staff," Blackburn said. "I am excited to get to work with a coach that has so much experience and with a team that has a lot of talent returning and a lot of talent coming in next season. I think it's just a really good program to a part of and I expect a lot of success in the future."
In her first season at Tusculum, she helped guide the Pioneers to a 22-11 record and their first-ever NCAA Division II regional ranking.
Her team accomplished even higher feats in her second season as the team went 18-15 and earned the first-ever bid to the NCAA Championships in school history. That team also record the school's first win over a top-25 program.
Last season, Blackburn helped lead the Pioneers to an impressive 25-7 overall record as her team reached the NCAA Championships for the second-straight season. Tusculum also earned runner-up honors at the conference tournament.
She also helped the team rack up an impressive amount of individual awards. The Pioneers had one first-team All-American and three all-region selections, including the Freshman of the Year in the region. Her team also had four all-conference members, two all-freshman team selections in the conference, one of which being the conference Freshman of the Year.
Prior to joining the staff at Tusculum, Blackburn was a standout at the University of Alabama. As a junior, she helped the Crimson Tide reach their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid and also advanced to the SEC Championship Match for the first time in school history. Her team also advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a senior.
In addition to her efforts on the court, Blackburn was also a leader in the classroom as she was named to the SEC All-Academic Team on three separate occasions.
During her prep career, Blackburn played for one of the most prestigious club teams in the nation in ASICS Munciana Volleyball Club. Her 15-under and 17-under teams won the National Championship, while her 16-under squad earned third-place honors.
Blackburn graduated from Alabama in 2007 with a degree in communication.
- UNCG -