Kelly Sheffield, the head volleyball coach at the University of Dayton for the last five years, was named the head coach of the University of Wisconsin volleyball program in January of 2013. He becomes the 10th head volleyball coach in Wisconsin history.
"Kelly has had great success in leading his Dayton teams to the top of the Atlantic 10 Conference and into the NCAA tournament," said Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. "Wisconsin has the resources to be a premier volleyball program and we're looking forward to Kelly leading our team back to the top of the Big Ten and into the NCAA tournament."
"The University of Wisconsin is one of the elite jobs in our sport," said Sheffield. "Because of the conference, the academics, the administrative and fan support, and the facilities, it is a place where you can compete and win at the highest level.
"As I went through this process, it became clearer and clearer that everyone at Wisconsin has a strong desire to return to a championship level, and that absolutely fired me up."
"The goal is to compete for Big Ten championships - as it should be at Wisconsin. If you are competing for Big Ten championships, that puts you in the top echelon of teams in the country, and that's where we want to be."
Since taking over the Dayton program in 2008, Sheffield molded the Flyers into one of the nation's elite programs. Dayton won four straight Atlantic 10 Conference championships and made five straight NCAA tournament appearances. The Flyers won the 2012 A10 title with a perfect 14-0 mark for the first time in program history, claimed the conference tournament title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Dayton ended the season ranked 19th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top-25 poll after being ranked all season long.
Sheffield was named the 2012 AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year as well as the A10 Coach of the Year. He coached the last four conference players of the year in Rachel Krabacher (2011 and 2012) and Lindsay Fletemier (2009 and 2010) as well as the last three setters of the year in Samantha Selsky (2011 and 2012) and Jessica Yanz (2010).
He also coached six athletes who have earned 12 All-America honors, including 2012 second-team honoree Selsky, and 32 first-team all-conference award winners. He also had two athletes named to the USA Volleyball A2 team while three athletes have played professionally.
"What impressed me the most about Kelly is his ability to develop leadership qualities in his student athletes and his understanding of the demands, both athletically and academically, placed on his team," said Alvarez. "I think our fans will be very impressed with the level of play that he'll bring to Wisconsin."
Sheffield was 131-33 (.799) in five years at Dayton, including a 68-4 (.944) mark in Atlantic 10 play. He is 273-112 (.709) in 12 seasons as a head coach.
Academics are equally important to Sheffield as his Flyer program earned the AVCA's Team Academic Award, presented to teams maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average, the last four seasons. He also had seven Academic All-Atlantic 10 honorees as the conference office selects just seven recipients every year.
Sheffield is currently serving on the AVCA's Board of Directors as the chair of the awards and Division I All-America committee. He also communicates relative rules and regulation for the association's awards and reviews proposals for new awards programs.
"The goal is to compete for Big Ten championships - as it should be at Wisconsin," said Sheffield. "If you are competing for Big Ten championships, that puts you in the top echelon of teams in the country, and that's where we want to be. But there's also a clear understanding that you have to immerse yourself in the process of getting better - that's where the daily focus has to be."
Sheffield was one of nine members of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Rules Committee from 2004-07, and was chair of the committee in 2006-07. While at the University of Albany, he also represented the America East Conference on the Division I Head Coaches' Committee.
A native of Muncie, Ind., Sheffield served as the head coach at Albany from 2001-07. A two-time America East Coach of the Year, Sheffield led the Great Danes to three trips to the NCAA Tournament including a second-round appearance in 2007. Albany also won back-to-back conference tournament championships under Sheffield.
Sheffield mentored the first player in NCAA history to win a conference player of the year and setter of the year award for three consecutive seasons. That talent helped his 2006 squad to become the first team in school history in any sport to host an NCAA tournament contest.
Sheffield's first team at Albany was just 4-20 while he finished with a seven-year record of 142-79 (.643), including four 20-win seasons.
He also spent one season as the top assistant at Clemson University and from 1998-2000, Sheffield was a first assistant coach at the University of Virginia, aiding the Cavaliers to their first two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to Virginia, Sheffield served as an assistant at the University of Houston in 1997 when the Cougars captured their seventh consecutive NCAA berth and won the Conference USA Tournament.
He also has extensive experience coaching junior volleyball teams, serving as the head coach of the Houston Juniors from 1997-98 and Munciana (Ind.) Volleyball Club from 1989-97. Sheffield began his coaching career at Muncie Burris High School where he was a varsity assistant for a squad that won two state championships and a national championship.
Sheffield earned his bachelor's degree in general studies from Ball State University in 2001 after taking several years off to coach. He has also worked as an evaluator and court coach for USA Volleyball Junior National Team Tryouts.
Sheffield and his wife Cathy are the parents of two daughters - Alexa (2) and Reagan, born in March. Cathy (Arnette) lettered for two seasons each at Villanova and Virginia as a setter and defensive specialist.