NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was meant to be an opportunity to learn more about volleyball coaching but to the surprise of everyone it turned out to be a six-month long job interview,
Justin Beachy joined the Lipscomb volleyball staff prior to the 2015 season as a volunteer assistant coach. He was not paid for his work and hoped to use the experience he would gain as a springboard to a paying position.
As circumstances turned out, he didn’t have to go far. With assistant coach Ann Armes deciding to transition to a position as director of sports nutrition, Beachy was selected to fill the full-time post she vacated.
Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal is also promoting Billy Ebel to associate head coach, the first time volleyball has included this staff position.
“We had six months to get a glimpse of who Justin was,” Rosenthal said. “What he did as a volunteer assistant coach speaks volumes about Justin and what he did as a part of the coaching staff. He worked as many hours as we did and he did it for no pay. That speaks volumes about him as well.
“He has a passion for the game. He was a huge part of our success this past season.”
Beachy, 25, served in 2013 as an assistant coach at Messiah College. Beachy earned a bachelor’s degree from Messiah in mathematics in 2013. He also completed a two-year master’s in higher education with a focus on athletic management in May.
Rosenthal told Beachy he would help him advance his coaching career. Beachy fell in love with the Lipscomb program and was more than a little bit happy when he was offered the full-time position.
“I had such a good experience with the team last year that I knew something good was going to come out of that,” Beachy said. “I am not surprised how quickly it happen. There is so much turnover in coaches I knew with the contacts I had in Brandon and Billy that I would find something. I just didn’t know this would be the option.”
Beachy has been most impressed with the culture of the volleyball program that has been developed by Rosenthal.
“The family environment he has established is really something unique and special, “Beachy said. “These girls love each other on the court, but they also love each other off of the court.
“To be able to have those types of relationships outside of volleyball is a testament to the culture Brandon has developed. He considers these girls to be his family so he is willing to drop anything to do something for his family. They are a priority to him, just like they were his own daughters. I hope I can be similar to that when I am a head coach.”
On the court Beachy is most impressed with how hard the players want to compete, both in games and in practice.
“We are going to bring in a certain athlete,” Beachy said. “And that athlete has to be willing to compete and needs to be ready to be pushed every single day. If you are not going to bring your 110 percent you don’t belong here.
“Brandon brings that out of his girls in a way I have never seen before. He pushes them, but not in a way where they don’t respect him. They are willing to compete and go all out on the court and the minute they step off the court it is all love. Not every coach has the ability to create that type of environment. That is something special.”
Beachy worked last season primarily with the defense and the liberos. He traveled with the team as a volunteer, but he could not recruit. He shared office space with Ebel and Armes. He admits each day in the office with them was like being in a classroom.
“I learned a ton from them,” Beachy said. “Now I get to recruit. I have never been a recruiter before. I am really excited to get out on the road and see what recruiting entails.”
Beachy is happy he doesn’t have to move on to another destination. He not only loves the volleyball program, but he also loves the school and the athletics department.
“I see how the athletics department has made progress,” Beachy said. “But the department is also really focused on developing the Christian athlete and I appreciate that.
“I hope I can bring that with me as part of my coaching…that faith-based aspect of it. I want to be able to work alongside of the girls and help them in that area.”