|2010-11 Volleyball Coaches|
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Having led the Lipscomb Volleyball program to unprecedented heights, including four NCAA Tournament appearances, four Atlantic Sun tournament championships and a 46-game conference unbeaten streak, Brandon Rosenthal is in his 10th season at the helm of the Lady Bisons program.
Under his direction, Lipscomb has also made five-straight appearances in the A-Sun tournament championship game and six-straight trips to the A-Sun tournament, along with winning a trio of A-Sun regular-season titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Lady Bisons have also been honored with four A-Sun Players of the Year in Rosenthal’s tenure.
Building off the succeses of the two previous seasons, Rosenthal's squad made it back-to-back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2011 A-Sun Tournament held at Allen Arena. LU was sent west for the first time to take on the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station, Texas. The match proved to be a slugfest with the Aggies taking the first two games before Lipscomb rallied in the third. A&M eventually pulled away late in the fourth game but the match was extremely close to going the Lady Bisons way.
There were a number of firsts in 2010 for Rosenthal’s club as Lipscomb repeated its successes of the 2009 campaign and made it back-to-back A-Sun regular season and conference championships for the first time in school history.
The Lady Bisons continued their A-Sun winning streak of 37 matches, that dates back to the 2009 season, with a perfect 12-0 finish in league play in 2010. Lipscomb then made a herculean comeback in the A-Sun tournament championship game to rally from a 2-0 deficit to down East Tennessee State and advance to face Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. The trip to Columbus, Ohio for the regional saw Lipscomb come close to pulling the upset over the Buckeyes losing 3-1 but lost two of the sets by three points or less.
The 2009 season was truly a "banner" year for head coach Brandon Rosenthal and the Lady Bison volleyball program. The team ran the A-Sun table finishing a perfect 22-0 in league play, a feat never before accomplished since the conference was founded in 1978. The Lady Bisons went on to win their second A-Sun tournament in three years and earn the program's second berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2009 accolades included a 25-match win streak, the longest in school history, and the highest RPI for Lipscomb at 34, led to Rosenthal earning 2009 A-Sun Coach of the Year honors. Lipscomb also picked up its first All-America honors in program history as Alex Kelly and Jake Pease were named honorable mention All-America by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
In 2007 Rosenthal directed the Lady Bisons to their first ever A-Sun Conference Tournament Championship, their first ever berth in the NCAA Tournament and their first winning season overall in the NCAA era.
"It is a challenge each year to win more matches than we did the year before," Rosenthal said. "Our past success says a lot about what we have done as a program. We have recruited players who want to be part of something special."
"It is more than just volleyball. We are recruiting players who want to be part of a legacy."
Rosenthal has worked hard to recruit players who possess a passion, not only for volleyball, but for life as well. Whether it's on the court, in the classroom or out in the community the players have to be willing to put forth the effort to succeed on a daily basis.
"I want to see that passion each and every day," Rosenthal said. "That is the hardest part of what I ask for from my players. I expect their best and by that I mean effort, whether it is on the court, in the classroom, traveling with the team or performing community service."
"Practices are tough, both mentally and physically. I want our players to be challenged because when the official blows the whistle to start a match it is the player, not the coach, who makes the difference."
The statistics posted by the Lady Bisons as a team and as individual players have been increasingly impressive each season. But Rosenthal thinks the game of volleyball is about more than the numbers.
"There are coaches who are obsessed with stats and coaches who think stats are just part of the game," Rosenthal said. "I am not one to get caught up in the numbers. I listen to my coaches, my players and my heart."
"As a team, whether we win or lose, the one thing I ask is that we give maximum effort. The difficult challenge is making that same team go further than they have ever gone on a daily basis."
After spending two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the Lady Bisons, Rosenthal became one of the youngest head coaches in NCAA Division I at the age of 25. He took over a program that had never won more than four matches in a season and immediately grasped the challenges facing him.
"We have built this program from the ground up," Rosenthal said. "And we have done it the right way. Doing things the right way makes players want to be a part of your program. My biggest concern is building this program into one that will continue to be a success over a long period of time."
"Something that stands out for me is the drive and determination of each one of our players to not only make her mark, but to be part of something bigger than just themselves," Rosenthal said. "I feel it is crucial at this level that the players realize they are not just joining a team, but they're joining a family."
Rosenthal's 19 years of volleyball experience spans the country, allowing him the ability to draw from many different forums.
Born in Burbank, Calif., Rosenthal got his first taste of the sport of volleyball on the West Coast. When his family moved to Pittsburgh, Pa., he spearheaded a drive to add volleyball to the varsity programs at his high school.
His West-Coast roots led him back to the “Golden State” for college where he continued his love for the game by playing club volleyball at Pepperdine. Rosenthal went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., before earning a Master of Business Administration degree from Lipscomb.
Rosenthal and his wife, Kate, live in Nashville. They have a daughter, Jake; and a son, Jack.
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