Lady Bisons add Sullivan as volleyball assistant
Friday, January 29, 2010
Lady Bisons add Sullivan as volleyball assistant
Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal has announced that Samantha Sullivan has been named a full-time assistant.

Sullivan, 24, played two seasons as a setter for the Lady Bisons. She coached one season as a student assistant and has spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant. She is a native of Simi Valley, Calif.

“The addition of Samantha is just awesome for our program,” said Lady Bisons head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “It is a big step for us.

“She is a good mix between me and the girls. I think she is going to work really hard.”

In his seven years as head coach Rosenthal has relied on help from graduate assistants.

“Our graduate assistants have done some great work,” Rosenthal said. “We have been really fortunate with Kristin Peck, Margaret Davidson, Jenna Panatier, Ann Mullins and Samantha.

“The hard part about it has been that every two years you have to train somebody new. All of them were pretty familiar with our program, but for the first time ever we are going to be able to take steps forward instead of starting completely new.”

Sullivan was a student coach when the Lady Bisons won the Atlantic Sun Tournament championship in 2007 and made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament. This past season she was the only assistant as the Lady Bisons finished with a perfect 22-0 record in the A-Sun, won the regular season and tournament titles and made a second trip to the NCAA Tournament.

“Samantha has really done a wonderful job this past year,” Rosenthal said. “I think she grew a lot within the position.

“It is exciting. She has a wonderful rapport with the girls. I think that is probably one of those things that doesn’t get enough emphasis especially after winning a championship.”

Rosenthal sought Sullivan’s advice this past season on several occasions. He points to that as one of the areas where Sullivan’s growth has been most evident.

“She realized she could  make recommendations, and not only just make them, but feel strongly about them,’ Rosenthal said. “Sometimes I need another voice. I need another thought to balance me.”

Sullivan is also expected to become a bigger part of the recruiting process. That is one area where she will be increasing her learning curve.

“She is eager to get out there and get started with that,” Rosenthal said. “It is one area that is going to be somewhat new for her. She has done a lot of recruiting stuff on campus. But it is going to be neat to see her grow in that area.

“We work hard in recruiting. That is something I take a lot of pride in."

Rosenthal picked Sullivan from a number of applications.

“Familiarity was a huge benefit for her,” Rosenthal said. “I think her work ethic was also something that came to mind. I am by no means the easiest person to work for. I am demanding in the sense that I know what needs to be done, and it takes a lot of hard work.

“I wanted to get the best person in here for this. I am very confident that Samantha and what she is going to bring in terms of the work aspect.”

Sullivan is also looking forward to the new challenges. She once considered teaching as a profession, but has decided she still wants to teach, but she wants do it as a coach.

“College athletics is a passion of mine,” Sullivan said. “Right now, I am in a lucky situation. I am working with a program that finished 36th in the nation. A lot of young coaches don’t get to start at the top. I am starting at the top.”

By Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations