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Wichita State notes: Volleyball reshuffles staff

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at 4:27 p.m.

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Wichita State volleyball coach Chris Lamb is remaking his coaching staff after the departure of assistant Jeff Sanders.

Lamb elevated Matt Hoffman to take Sanders’ spot as his top assistant. Hoffman joined the WSU staff in 2013. Sanders completed his 10th season at WSU and left to run Wichita Volleyball Academy.

“Matt’s done a lot of things right,” Lamb said. “This go-around, this recruiting season, with just the two of us, he did everything he needed to. I liked what I saw.”

Lamb said he is close to filling the role of second assistant.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people, all shapes and sizes,” Lamb said. “I’ve got my sights set.”

Responsibilities for the staff will depend on the new hire. Lamb doesn’t designate specific recruiting roles or duties during practice in the way some coaches might.

“What’s the best way to sail the boat with that crew?” he said. “I think I can do all the jobs. I think Matt can do all the jobs. Everybody’s got to learn all aspects of our game and have all eyes on all kids.”

Volunteer assistant Marquis Clark has been hired as an assistant coach at East Tennessee State, Lamb said. Clark, former head coach at Cloud County Community College, spent one season at WSU.

On the road — For the second time in three seasons, WSU won’t play a home volleyball tournament.

When Lamb couldn’t get quality opponents, he decided to travel instead of playing teams that won’t help his NCAA Tournament resume.

“There are people trying to host, or even host two tournaments, and not have the right competition,” he said. “You will, hopefully, never see me host a tournament just to host a tournament.”

WSU opens the season at Kentucky on Aug. 29, and the tournament also includes Butler and Virginia Tech. It plays in the Delta Zeta Classic at Texas State the first weekend of September. The Shockers play in Creighton’s Bluejay Invitational starting Sept. 12, where they face the host team, Pepperdine and Bowling Green.

Lamb is trying to schedule a non-conference home match to complete his schedule, perhaps against Central Arkansas.

Next season, he said, WSU will host a tournament that includes Kentucky, Texas State, Northern Illinois and others.

“That was a product of several years (of planning),” he said. “We, nor any Missouri Valley Conference school, can consistently put the right teams in a tournament. Sadly, most of the Valley can’t get the right teams in for non-conference home games.”

More for Gillaspie — First baseman Casey Gillaspie, who signed with Tampa Bay earlier this month, received All-American honors from Perfect Game, an Internet publication that focuses on scouting and prospects.

It is the fourth All-American honor for Gillaspie, who also earned first-team notice from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Tampa Bay selected him No. 20 in the amateur draft earlier this month and he signed for a bonus of 2,035,500. He played in his first game Saturday for the Hudson Valley Renegades, Tampa Bay’s Class-A short-season team in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He homered on Sunday and went 1 for 16 in his first three games.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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