Lamar head volleyball coach Justin Gibert enters the 2012 season as just the fourth head coach in school history to hit the century mark with 112 career victories.
Gibert has proven over his first eight seasons the ability to guide the Lady Cardinals to the top of the Southland Conference. With a 11 newcomers for 2013, he will look to guide a new crop of Lady Cardinals back to the postseason.
With a 9-7 mark in SLC play in 2011, Gibert led the Lady Cards to a second place finish in the East Division. Sierra Whittaker experienced a breakout season under his direction, picking up All-SLC Second Team honors, and Alex Morford earned Honorable Mention accolades. It marked that fifth consecutive season that multiple LU players garnered Southland honors.
Gibert led Lamar to the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament in 2010. Adding to a long list of all-conference honorees and award winners coached by Gibert, Jayme Bazile earned First Team All-Southland honors, while Christina Hobbs was named the conference's Newcomer of the Year.
After guiding Lamar to the SLC Tournament in his first two seasons, Gibert led LU to the regular season Southland Conference title in 2007 as it posted a 15-1 league record and a 25-9 overall mark. The 2008 squad took the next step for Gibert, reaching the NCAA Tournament by capturing the SLC Tournament championship. It was Lamar's first trip to the NCAA's since the 1993 season, and fourth overall all.
Gibert has coached 12 players who have gone on to be named first or second team all-conference while leading the Lamar program. In addition to the all-conference honorees, Gibert has coached a Player of the Year (Molli Abel - 2007), a Setter of the Year (Adrianne Meengs - 2007), two Freshmen of the Year (Wendy Krell - 2009, Cortney Moore - 2012) and a pair of Newcomers of the Year (Shalayne Blythe - 2007 & Christina Hobbs - 2010).
Perhaps even more impressive is the quality of student-athlete that Gibert has recruited. Nine players have been named Academic All-Southland Conference, including Abel who was selected as the 2007 SLC Student-Athlete of the Year.
Gibert came to Lamar after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin State University. He served as the top assistant under Debbie Humphreys at SFA for two seasons, helping the Ladyjacks post a 26-6 record and earn a share of the 2004 Southland Conference regular season co-championship. In 2003, Gibert played a vital role in working with a youthful SFA squad, as it made a late-season charge, winning 13 of the final 14 matches to finish second in the league with a 19-13 record.
Gibert assisted with all phases of the program at SFA, including recruiting, daily workouts and in-game coaching. He was also responsible for the signing of SFA freshman J.J. Jones, the 2004 SLC Setter of the Year. Gibert has been successful throughout his career, and he possesses a wealth of coaching experience from both the NCAA Division I and junior college ranks.
Prior to joining the staff at SFA, he spent one season as an assistant coach at UTSA, where he aided in the Roadrunners' recruiting process. Gibert was largely responsible for the signing of Meagan Daniel, who twice earned First-Team All-SLC honors. He also assisted the head coach with in-game coaching of both the offensive and defensive schemes.
Before heading to San Antonio, Gibert spent six seasons on the bench at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. Gibert spent the first two seasons as an assistant and helped guide the Fillies to their first two conference championships.
In 1998, Gibert took over as the head coach at Panola. In four seasons, he directed the Fillies to 133 wins, a .751 (133-44) overall winning percentage and three conference titles. Panola's volleyball program also gained national recognition during his stay in Carthage, advancing to four consecutive playoff berths, two regional tournament final appearances and two top-20 national rankings.
Gibert graduated from Texas in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in accounting, and he is currently completing requirements for a master's degree at SFA. Gibert married the former Traci Johnson in July of 2003 and the couple welcomed son Joshua on Nov. 14, 2009.