GREENVILLE, Pa. - Kelly Barzak, a 2013 Thiel graduate, has been named the head coach of the Thiel College women's volleyball team, as announced by director of athletics Jack Leipheimer.
Barzak, a Howland graduate, was a two-sport star at Thiel, earning numerous awards in volleyball and basketball throughout her career. She also was an award-winner in the classroom and in leadership roles during her collegiate career.
"I am extremely excited about returning to Thiel College," Barzak said. "It is a great college that constantly strides to develop its athletics department. I understand the desire that the players have to win, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead them to success."
Barzak spent the last 10 months at Muskingum University, where she served as the women's volleyball team's graduate assistant while pursuing a master's degree in education. She assisted in daily operations of Muskingum's women's volleyball team, which included administrative, player development and recruiting duties.
Barzak, the 2008-09 Tribune Chronicle Athlete of the Year, was a four-year letter winner and starter for Thiel's volleyball and basketball teams. She left as Thiel's all-time women's volleyball leader in kills (1,292) and blocks (449). She was also the 12th player in Thiel women's basketball history to score 1,000 points, finishing her career as the program's third all-time leading scorer (1,401).
Barzak was a four-time All-Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) First Team volleyball selection as well as a four-time All-PAC basketball honoree. During her senior season, she became the first Thiel women's basketball player to be named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team in volleyball, as selected by CoSIDA.
"I am really looking forward to building Thiel's women's volleyball program," Barzak said. "Winning a PAC championship is extremely important to us, but once these students-athletes leave Thiel I also want them to be proud to have been Tomcats and equipped with an exceptional education."