NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After casting a wide net around the country looking for the right fit for the program, Lipscomb volleyball head coach Brandon Rosenthal ended up going just down Belmont Boulevard hiring Jeff Wismer as assistant coach for the three-time defending Atlantic Sun Conference champion Lady Bison program.
Very familiar with the Lipscomb program, Wismer has spent the last two seasons at Belmont where he helped lead the Bruins to a share of the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference title alongside the Lady Bison.
“We’re excited obviously to have Jeff and what he brings to the table,” said Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “He’s got a lot of experience whether it’s at Villanova or his days at Munciana Club Volleyball and most recently at Belmont.
“Jeff brings a tremendous amount of energy and wealth of knowledge not only of the club volleyball scene here in Nashville but also throughout the country and he has some great ties with other clubs. From a recruiting standpoint, Jeff is going to be able to jump right in and use those contacts and really try to reach out to some areas that we really haven’t explored yet.”
Prior to joining the Belmont staff in 2010, Wismer served as the top assistant at Villanova, Taylor and Eastern.
“I’m grateful to Mr. Strickland and to Deane (Webb) and the athletic community at Belmont for the opportunity that they had given me,” said Wismer. “It was a challenging and rewarding experience over there but obviously, I’m eager to get involved in the community that Philip (Hutcheson) is leading here at Lipscomb and to mesh myself with the culture that Brandon has established.
“Brandon’s created a unique brand here at Lipscomb. I think it starts with his leadership and it trickles into the competitive culture of the program as a whole. So I’m excited for that opportunity.”
Along with the Lady Bison’s recent tradition of championship volleyball, the involvement of the numerous alumni in the Lipscomb volleyball family attracted Wismer to the position.
“Brandon and I were talking and one of the things that really stood out to me was how active the alumni are in this program and that’s a real testimony I think to what the experience is for the Lipscomb student-athlete,” said Wismer. “What it is, is that people want to reinvest themselves and stay connected to the program. That really stood out to me as something that’s unique to Lipscomb volleyball and as a whole the Lipscomb experience.”
Wismer joins the Lipscomb program replacing Samantha Sullivan, who returned to her native California in December after two seasons as the top assistant for the Lady Bison.
“There is no way I can replace a Sam Sullivan,” said Wismer.” I love Sam and we had some good laughs and a couple of sneers and snarls over the years together but I want to walk in and be myself in this program and assimilate myself into the community.
“I’m a mature assistant coach. I know who I am and I want to find a program where I can maintain my identity and what I do well. Brandon’s willing to share this experience with me knowing who I am and what I can bring to the table. I think ultimately that can only benefit the program as it moves forward.”
A member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and USA Volleyball, Wismer graduated from Messiah College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies education.