The Loyola women’s volleyball team hired Amanda Berkley as its new head coach, athletics director Steve Watson said in a press release.
Berkley comes to Loyola after spending the last five seasons as the head coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she totaled a 104-59 overall record and a 46-29 conference record. Before that, she was an assistant coach at Southern Mississippi for three seasons and a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for two seasons.
“We are thrilled to add Amanda to the Loyola family,” Watson said in a statement. “She is a rising star in the profession and in a short time turned the Southern Miss program into a championship contender in Conference USA. A proven winner, Amanda is the perfect fit to deliver a first-class experience to our student-athletes, while leading our program in one of the top volleyball leagues in the nation.”
Berkley will take over for former coach Chris Muscat, who was let go Nov. 19. Muscat totaled an 82-125 record in seven seasons at Loyola, including a 5-24 mark last season.
Berkley also released a statement, saying while she’s grateful for her time at Southern Mississippi, she’s excited for the chance to coach at Loyola.
“I am extremely honored to be the next head coach at Loyola,” Berkley said. “I would like to thank Steve Watson and [Deputy Director of Athletics] Jermaine Truax for this great opportunity to lead this program and for their confidence in me. Loyola is a great university in a highly respected conference and I am excited to get started with this team. I would also like to thank the University of Southern Mississippi for the opportunity it gave me seven years ago. The fans and support of the volleyball program make it a very special place.”
The women’s volleyball team finished 5-24 last season under Muscat. The program is expected to return all 15 players from last season, including six rising seniors and 2017 Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman Team nominee Elle Van Grinsven.