By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech director of athletics Mark Wilson announced Friday that Jeannette Waldo will serve as the volleyball program's newest head coach.
Waldo has spent the last four months at Missouri State as the Lady Bears' assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping MSU to the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles and the program's first-ever undefeated season in conference play. She will join Tech as its eighth all-time head coach in the new year.
"Jeannette is a fantastic hire for this university," said Wilson. "She has proven herself as a championship-caliber coach on the Division I level. She also knows what it takes to succeed in the Ohio Valley Conference. She shares a passion for academic success that we strive for, as she tries to mold our young student-athletes to their potential and achieve our ultimate goal of leaving with a championship ring on one hand and a diploma in the other."
"I had some familiarity with the OVC having been at Belmont in the past, and so I know what a great league it is," said Waldo on accepting the position. "I know what potential Tennessee Tech had then and currently has now, and I was really excited to be a part of building something exciting."
Waldo most recently helped Missouri State to one of its most successful seasons in program history. The Lady Bears made their 13th NCAA Tournament appearance and ended their 2017 season with a 28-6 record, achieving the No. 25 ranking in the AVCA Division I Coaches top-25 poll multiple times throughout the year.
Before arriving at Missouri State, Waldo coached at Green Bay from May 2014 to this past August and was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach in Dec. 2016. She also handled recruiting for the duration of her time in Wisconsin. The Phoenix vastly improved in Waldo's three seasons aboard, posting a 21-9 record in the 2016 season after going 5-21 in 2014. The team appeared in the Horizon League tournament in 2015 and 2016 and reached the 2016 tournament championship for the first time since 2003.
Prior to Green Bay, Waldo worked for two seasons at OVC program Belmont as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. The Bruins won the OVC Tournament and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2012, Waldo's first year at Belmont and the program's first year in the conference. They also reached the conference tournament in 2013.
"I recruited in the league for a couple years," said Waldo. "My recruiting classes just had their senior year at Belmont, and they were very successful there. I know what level player has success in this league. I'm definitely honing in on what kind of recruits it takes to be successful."
Waldo got her start on a collegiate staff in 2011, spending August to December at Minnesota as a volunteer assistant. The Golden Gophers earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 that year.
Waldo was a letter winner at William Jewell College, a Division II program in Liberty, Missouri, from 2002 to 2005. She played as a defensive specialist for the Cardinals, serving as team captain during her junior and senior seasons. Waldo graduated from WJC in May 2006 with a bachelor of arts in organizational communication and earned her education certification from Avila University in Dec. 2010.
The Tennessee Tech position will be Waldo's first go as a collegiate head coach, but she is confident that her background puts her in a good position to be successful at the helm of a program.
"I've been an assistant at various levels of the game, so I have become very well-rounded as a coach," said Waldo. "I also know what my assistants need to be successful. I have a lot of insight in that area. I know what the players need for the most part as far as communication goes. Communication is definitely one of my strongest assets. I know it all starts with that, basically, to your team, to your staff and to everyone that you're working with. Between being able to communicate and being able to coach at various levels, I think all of that makes me very prepared for this adventure.
"I'm excited about getting everyone excited about Tennessee Tech volleyball again – the players, the people on campus and the community. That's one of my first goals, and I think one of the ways you do that is through winning and making sure that this team knows they can win and knows how to win."