Story Courtesy of the Hiram Sports Information Department
After a national search, Hiram athletics is pleased to announce the hiring of Mark Hardaway as the new head women's volleyball coach. Hardaway brings with him 30 years of coaching experience, including six as the head coach of Youngstown State University.
"We are excited to have Mark at the helm of our volleyball program," said Ellen Dempsey, Director of Athletics. "Mark brings 25 years of collegiate volleyball experience, and I have no doubt he will continue to move the volleyball program forward in a positive and productive way."
Hardaway began his stint at YSU in 2012 where he created a culture of winning, taking YSU to back-to-back appearances in the Horizon League Tournament Semifinals for the first time in school history.
While with the Penguins, Hardaway guided the team to three-consecutive winning seasons from 2012-14. Prior to his arrival, the program had not seen a winning record since 1999. In 2014, the Penguins tallied seven conference victories in Horizon League play, tying for the most in program history.
In his time at YSU Hardaway produced the 2014 Setter-of-the-Year (Val Jeffery), 2013 Defensive Player-of-the-Year (Jenna Cavanaugh), six All-League selections, two All-Freshmen team honorees, a pair of Horizon League All-Tournament laurels, and 11 Defensive and four Offensive Player-of-the-Week selections.
Hardaway also helped shape the student-athlete experience, improving the team's cumulative GPA from 2.7 to 3.4, receiving the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the first time in 2013. The program has earned the laurel in each year since.
Outside of his time at YSU, Hardaway served as a USA Volleyball Women's National Team Evaluator from 2015-2017 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While there, he assisted in the evaluation of athletes trying out for the USA Women's National Team at their open try out.
His first stint at the Division I level came as the assistant women's volleyball coach for Bowling Green State University. During his 1991 (29-5, 15-1) and 1992 seasons (30-8, 17-1) the Falcons earned back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championships. In '92, BGSU also earned National Invitation Volleyball Championship runners-up honors. He helped the Falcons land three all-conference selections both years, including the MAC Player-of-the-Year in 1991.
Hardaway returned to BGSU from May 2004 to November 2011 as the first assistant women's volleyball coach and recruiting coordinator.
Overall, in 10 seasons with the Falcons, Hardaway helped guide BGSU to an overall record of 206-122 and coached 25 All-Mid-American Conference selections. The Falcons totaled at least 20 wins in five of the 10 seasons. In '91, Bowling Green advanced to the NCAA Tournament and finished 19th in the final NCAA poll.
Hardaway held head coaching positions at the Division I level with stops at both the University of Evansville (1995-2002) and Western Kentucky University (1993-1995).
Hardaway earned his first Division I head coaching job in 1993 and proceeded to go 45-27 in two seasons at Western Kentucky. Hardaway coached two All-Sun Belt selections, two all-tournament picks and five academic all-conference honorees in his two seasons with the Hilltoppers.
Hardaway went on to coach Evansville for eight seasons and led the Purple Aces to their first winning season in 10 years in 1998. In 2000, Hardaway's team set school records for most Missouri Valley Conference wins (10) and highest MVC finish (fourth) that still stand today. His players went on to earn 11 all-conference, five all-newcomer and 20 academic all-conference selections. Two Aces were also drafted into the U.S. Professional Volleyball League.
Hardaway earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Missouri Southern State in 1988.
Coach Hardaway takes over a Terrier program that sees 12 potential returners from a 2017 squad that put together a 19-win season and captured a first-round playoff win in the NCAC Championship Tournament.
The Terriers could return as many as 12 letterwinners to the fold, including All-NCAC selections Lindsey Walker and Kiara Franks.