NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb assistant coach Billy Ebel has been named a recipient of a “30 Under 30” Award by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
The honor is designed to honor “up-and-coming” coaching talent at all levels of volleyball. Award winners must have been 30 years or younger in 2014.
Ebel was nominated for the award by Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal and some of his past mentors. Ebel, 27, is preparing for his third season with the Lady Bisons volleyball team. This is his first time to win the award.
“I was not expecting to get it,” Ebel said. “I am very happy and very honored to get it.
“I was thrilled when I found out I got it. I was excited to get recognition for all of the hard work I have put in during the last five or six years. It does pay off.”
Ebel pointed to Rosenthal and assistant coach Ann Armes for their support.
“We have a great staff that works really well together,” Ebel said. “It makes me feel good knowing I am surrounded by people like Brandon and Ann who support me. The award is not just for me. It is for them as well.”
Ebel adds that Rosenthal sets a tone for his assistants and the program to thrive.
“One of the biggest things about Brandon is his willingness to make people better. I love the energy he brings to the office every day and his willingness to teach me and Ann certain things.
“He gives us responsibilities. He pushes us to the limit. I think we are the hardest working staff out there. Even on nights off we are talking on the phone and texting talking about plans. I buy into how hard you have to work to make the program run.”
Rosenthal called it a well-deserved honor for Ebel who works in recruiting, coaching on the floor, player instruction and analyzing video of opponents and potential recruits.
“Billy has worked hard for this,” Rosenthal said. “He is a very talented individual. It is neat to be recognized by your peers. I am happy that he is able to be recognized on a national scale.”
Recruiting is the life line for college programs. Rosenthal rates Ebel as one of the best.
“Billy is one of the best young recruiters out there,” Rosenthal said. “And it is not only me saying that. The way he goes about doing things in recruiting is widely known.”
Rosenthal says Ebel has an extensive knowledge of the world of volleyball recruiting and has developed extensive contacts on all levels of volleyball.
“Billy has a very good working knowledge of the players and who is being recruited by whom,” Rosenthal said. “He has a photographic memory when it comes to those things.
“There are very few times that I have thrown a name out at him that he doesn’t know who I am talking about. It is very beneficial to have someone with our program that has a very good handle on the recruiting world across the country.”
Ebel’s main recruiting secret is he is not shy about meeting people or working a room.
“It is my relationships with coaches and players…my networking ability,” Ebel said. “I think I have a natural ability to talk with people.
“I tell the girls all the time I have no shame. There is no shame in what you are doing as long as you are confident in what you are trying to do.”
It is only his knowledge of recruiting but the way he deals with the potential members of each recruiting class.
“I really pay attention to these athletes and get to know them,” Ebel said. “That is another thing I have learned from Brandon. We are not working with 100 kids. We are working with five kids and getting to know those five kids really well.”
Rosenthal stresses that Ebel gives him a fresh look on recruiting and despite his youth many people seek him out for information, even the veterans in the field.
“Billy is able to get into some pretty big time conversations a lesser recruiter would definitely shy away from,” Rosenthal said. “Volleyball is a world where we share quite a bit as far as opinions go. He has the ability to walk into a room with people he doesn’t know and hold his own.
“Billy is confident in his ability and his knowledge of recruiting. But beyond that he has a strong work ethic in the gym. He works a lot of camps. People are able to see why he is successful. A lot of people don’t realize how much he brings to the program.”