Tech recently acquired a new volleyball coach, Tonya Johnson, after former head volleyball coach Bond Shymansky submitted his resignation early last month. Johnson brings a wealth of knowledge, previous postseason experience and an excellent recruiting record. Johnson previously worked as the associate head coach and assistant at Texas. Before then, she was employed at Kentucky and LSU as an assistant coach.
“The primary focus was on postseason experience both as a player and a coach. And we also we wanted someone with high energy, was a great communicator …[and] someone who is a strong recruiter,” said Theresa Wenzel, Tech Senior Woman Administrator and Associate Athletic Director.
Johnson’s accolades include help leading the Texas Longhorns to their fifth consecutive postseason appearance. As a recruiter, Johnson helped in bringing a top tier recruiting class in each of the past three years. As a coach on the court, she helped train three All-American outside hitters at Texas. Johnson was also an outstanding player. She led her team to the NCAA Final Four while playing at LSU.
“We are receiving a full package with someone who is going to help us both off and on the court. She is going to be fair, but demanding. She will hold them accountable and have a lot of discipline, but also let them have a lot of fun,” Wenzel said.
The Athletic Association is aiming toward taking the volleyball team to postseason play as well as absorbing outstanding recruits.
During his tenure, Shymansky led the team to three NCAA tournament appearances, an ACC Tournament championship and two regular season ACC championships.
However, under Coach Shymansky, the Jackets have not earned a postseason berth since the 2004 season. The volleyball team is the only varsity Tech team sport that has not earned a postseason berth in the past four years.
“I think the timing became appropriate that we need to make a change. It’s not a reflection of anyone’s direction but sometimes you need to make a change for the better of the program,” Wenzel said.
Johnson’s initial tasks include acquainting herself with the current team and new recruits. She also looks forward to expanding upon the spring recruiting class for the 2009 volleyball team.
“It was a very tough decision to leave Texas because of all of the great things a school like Texas provides, but being there has certainly prepared me for this. Georgia Tech is a great institution, both academically and athletically, and I look forward to leading this program into the future,” Johnson said to ramblinwreck.com.