Alan Edwards has spent much of his career building volleyball programs into contenders, and on December 20, 2013, he was presented with another opportunity to do just that as he was named Lamar's head volleyball coach.
Edwards comes to Lamar from the University of Tennessee, where he spent three years as an assistant coach. During his first two seasons on campus, he helped the Lady Vols to two NCAA Tournament berths and a 50-12 record, including a 28-4 campaign in 2011 that resulted in a Southeastern Conference championship. A workhorse on the recruiting trail, his final class at UT ranked No. 17 in the nation by prepvolleyball.com. He also aided in the development of six All-Americans.
Prior to Tennessee, Edwards was a head coach at two different institutions, most recently Iona from 2006-10. After coming into a program that lost 20 matches in the preceding season, he turned the Gaels into a force to be reckoned with in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference. Compiling a 74-79 overall record in the process, the team made four conference tournament appearances in his five seasons, culminating with a loss to Niagara in the 2010 MAAC championship match.
While at Iona, Edwards also coached one of the NCAA's all-time digs leaders in Allison Nieters, who collected 2,682 in her four years at Iona, earning a pair of MAAC Defensive Player of the Year awards. The Gaels also had a stellar academic reputation in his time, as three-fourths of his team earned either MAAC All-Academic or Academic Honor Roll accolades.
Before taking over at Iona, Edwards was tasked with another building project at Mercer. Prior to his arrival, the Bears had won just six of their previous 54 matches. In four seasons, he posted a 52-73 overall record, including a 7-3 conference mark in 2003, which ranked as the best in school history.
Edwards also had assistant coaching stints at Wyoming, Troy and Southland member Southeastern Louisiana, and he spent a decade in the high school coaching ranks, where he led Brevard High School to three straight state playoff appearances. A Brevard, N.C., native, Edwards founded Biltmore Volleyball Club and graduated from Western Carolina University in 1999.
Edwards, who resides in Beaumont, has one daughter, Brinsley, and one son, Cole.