Samantha Sullivan returns in 2011 as a full-time assistant to head volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal.
Named the first full-time assistant in the summer of 2010, Sullivan served as a student assistant and graduate assistant from 2007 to 2009.
“Sam has been with our program now for seven years as a player and coach, so needless to say she knows our program inside and out,” remarked Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal. “She continues to do a great job of helping this program evolve with innovative ideas and methods. Throughout the past couple seasons she has been a true measure of what this program stands for. Our success is a direct reflection to her dedication and hard work to always get the job done. Sam is someone that I truly trust and count on to make tough decisions. She is a great balance for me and is always looking to push this program.
Sullivan was a setter for two seasons for the Lady Bisons in 2005 and 2006. She transferred to Lipscomb after playing two seasons for Pierce College in Los Angeles. In only two years with the Lady Bisons, Sullivan managed to make her mark on the Lipscomb Volleyball program. She is currently the second all-time leader in assists with 2,226. Senior Stephine Pease holds the assists record at Lipscomb with 3,910.
Rosenthal likes the way Sullivan can relate to the girls and the way the team responds to her.
"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 championships."
Sullivan, a native of Simi Valley, Calif., started playing volleyball in the sixth grade. She played for Simi Valley High School and started playing club volleyball her sophomore year of high school. She spent one year with the Thunder Volleyball Club and played two seasons for the Santa Monica Beach Club.
In 2007 Sullivan was a student assistant working with the volleyball team, serving on the staff that helped guide the Lady Bisons to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship and their first berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Sullivan also provided play-by-play as an announcer for Lipscomb's volleyball matches on A-Sun TV.
Sullivan has also been active as a coach in club volleyball. She coached for the Nashville One Volleyball Club this past year, the first season ever for the team. She coached the 18s team with Tony Howell, an assistant coach at Belmont University, guiding the team to the nationals.
“In the club scene Sam has done a nice job over the past couple of years of developing her own coaching style” noted Rosenthal. “It is great to see her out there coaching her own team and watching the little things that she emphasizes.”
The daughter of Sherry Sullivan and Doug Priess, she has three sisters, Michelle Sullivan, Monique Buschel and Cori Turley and one brother, Kirk Priess.
Recently engaged to Kevin Crane, Sullivan graduated from Lipscomb in December 2007 with a psychology degree and education minor.