NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Courtney Harnish is all in when it comes to the game of volleyball.
After a college career as a libero at Indiana University, Harnish is joining the Lipscomb volleyball staff as an assistant coach. She has a strong enthusiasm for the game having been raised in Muncie, Indiana, a hotbed for the sport and nurtured in the game by her mother, Thanh, who served as her first coach.
Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal made the announcement of the addition of Harnish this week.
“We are excited about the addition of Courtney,” Rosenthal said. “Over the past couple of year we have had great additions as volunteer assistants. I have no doubts that Courtney is going to bring another level to the position.
“I am excited about her background. She grew up in an area where volleyball is one of the top sports there for female athletes. She went to IU and had a good career there. We are excited about her competitiveness and the hunger she has to learn about the coaching aspects and being a part of a competitive program here.”
Harnish attended Indiana on a full academic scholarship. She served as a team captain her senior year. Rosenthal pointed to Harnish’s reputation for demanding the best from herself while using her competitive nature to also make her teammates better.
“I am hoping she will help us continue to take our practices up a notch,” Rosenthal said. “She doesn’t like to lose. She is geared to be in our environment where we are challenging people to be the best they can be. I think she is excited to be a part of that.”
Harnish is a longtime friend of Lipscomb associate head coach Billy Ebel. She was drawn to the Lipscomb program due to all of the positive things about the program she heard from many people in the volleyball world.
“I haven’t heard a single bad thing about Lipscomb,” Harnish said. “Everyone talks it up. It is a small school, but in the volleyball world the Lipscomb name carries a lot of weight.
“I wanted to be in a program that was not only successful, but had the same mentality I have. Billy said I would fit in. As soon as I met Brandon and some of the girls involved with the team I knew it fit my personality. They are competitive and that is what I want.”
Courtney’s mother was her first coach. Courtney left her mother’s team and joined the Munciana Volleyball Club where she was part of a national championship team at the age of 12. Because of the popularity of the sport in her area, hours in the gym honing skills has been a major part of her lifestyle.
“Every single day you are in the gym to get better,” Harnish said. “You are not wasting a single minute out there.
“Lipscomb is like that, but not just in a volleyball sense. The program is about being better people and getting a good education. Brandon wants them to be well-rounded people and be a family. I love that.”
Harnish was familiar with Lipscomb through a trainer at Indiana, Regina Hash, who formerly worked at Lipscomb.
“She couldn’t stop raving about Lipscomb,” Harnish said. “I have followed the team the last couple of years.
“I feel like I belong in Nashville. I have always wanted to live in Tennessee.”
Harnish wants to pursue a career in coaching and Rosenthal thinks she has the tools for the job. Before joining the team she plans to spend some time in Vietnam, where her grandmother and mother were born.
“Speaking with some of her coaches from the past they praised her volleyball I.Q.,” Rosenthal said. “She has been around the game her whole life. I think that is neat to have somebody that is so in tune to some of the nuances of the game on a level that might be more mature than her age. And what she can bring in terms of understanding the technical aspects of the game at a relatively young age will be important as well.
“It is going to be great for the girls to have her as an addition to our staff and family. It is going to be another great year for us.”