Sports teams added new faces to their coaching staff this year as teams take on their second year at the NCAA Div. I level. The volleyball and golf programs experienced the biggest changes, taking on new head coaches for the 2014 season.
Jason Bibler, the new head volleyball coach, is coming from UTA where he worked under longtime head coach Diane Seymour. Bibler helped Seymour lead the team to a 19-15 overall record and 10-8 record in the Sun Belt Conference in the 2013 season.
Bibler said bringing experience from UTA is a major benefit as he takes the helm at ACU.
“I think having different expectations in terms of being gone for a little bit and learning from a different program and a different conference helps,” Bibler said. “I’m able to help them understand what the expectations are for a Division 1I program to win and be successful in the conference and national level.”
Bibler will not only bring experience to the table for the Wildcats, but he will bring familiarity with how the program has been run and the key players that ACU has.
Before his experience at UTA, Bibler was the assistant coach at ACU from 2010-2012 where he worked under former head coach Kellen Mock. Prior to ACU, Bibler was a graduate assistant coach at Angelo State for two years. Before that, he was a three-year head coach at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I just really love the school,” Bibler said. “It’s good to be back in Abilene. I’m just really blessed and thankful, it’s really exciting to be back here.”
The ACU golf program has also hired a new head coach to lead the team. Former coach Mike Campbell, who coached for 11 seasons, is being replaced by Tom Shaw.
Shaw brings quite the resume and experience to ACU, including seven years as a professional golfer and a yearlong assistant coaching job at the University of South Carolina. He was then hired as the head coach at Tulane, where he spent six seasons leading the team.
Shaw’s most recent college-coaching job was at Vanderbilt University from June 2006 through June 2012, followed by a job at College Golf Game Plan before being hired by ACU.
Shaw said he is excited to be at ACU and is already preparing the program for the future.
“You can have the best golfer in the world, but if he doesn’t buy into what Abilene Christian is about then that player is never going to achieve what they’re capable of,” Shaw said. “Its about finding a great player, but also a great student and person, somebody who is really going to flourish in this Christian environment.”
Shaw’s has high expectations are for his players and will encourage them to be the best players they can be.
“I will expect us to work like champions and to act like champions,” Shaw said. “You cannot become a champion or meet your goal if you don’t have the work ethic that involves. It’s got to start with how you practice, how you conduct yourself and how you think of yourself.”
The soccer program also hired Sheena Scott over the summer as an assistant coach, but she recently decided to move to California with her family.
For football, Scott Carey will be the new offensive line coach and Cody Moore will be the new defensive line coach. For men’s basketball, Solomon Bozeman has been hired as an assistant coach. Kyle Felan has taken an assistant coaching position for the women’s basketball team.
Ashley Reeves will join the women’s softball team as an assistant coach under her father-in-law, head coach Bobby Reeves. For baseball, Brad Flanders has been hired as the new pitching coach and assistant recruiting coordinator along with Sky Valenzuela, who will be the new volunteer assistant coach.