St. Mary's City, Md. – St. Mary's College of Maryland Director of Athletics & Recreation Scott Devine announced Tuesday the hiring of Jeremy Sands as the 14th head coach of the St. Mary's volleyball program.
Devine expressed, "It is my pleasure to announce Jeremy Sands as our head volleyball coach. Coach Sands brings many years of assistant coaching and recruiting experience at the D-I and D-II levels. During the interview process, everyone involved in the search identified Jeremy as the candidate who truly best fit our position and our institution."
"First, I would like to thank the other members of the search committee and the players that were able to take part in the process. With over 30 qualified candidates, Jeremy's coaching experience at the Division I and Division III level helped to set him apart from the other highly qualified candidates," added Tom Fisher, director of the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center as well as the search committee chair.
Sands has been involved with the sport of volleyball either as a player or coach for over 20 years. He comes to St. Mary's via the United States Military Academy, where he spent six seasons as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Sands played a vital role in the Black Knights' unprecedented success, helping to lead Army to its first Patriot League title in 15 years in 2009.
He assisted with all aspects of the program, including national recruiting, practice planning, on-court coaching, individual player development, alumni outreach and fund raising.
"Having most recently concluded a six-year stint at the United States Military Academy, we know he understands and values the academic mission of St. Mary's College as well as the highly competitive nature of the Capital Athletic Conference in the sport of volleyball," continued Devine.
Prior to West Point, Sands served as head coach of the men's volleyball club program at the United States Air Force Academy, leading the team to a No. 1 ranking for the NIRSA Volleyball National Championships and earning NIRSA Coach of the Year. He also assisted the Division II women's volleyball team at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs during his tenure at AFA.
"It's truly a blessing to serve on the staff at one of our nation's best public honors college. I am very excited to work with the student-athletes, staff, faculty, and administration at St. Mary's College," expressed Sands. "The volleyball program and athletic department has a long history of developing successful and talented young women student-athletes and I look forward to continuing that excellence.
"Our goal is to become leaders in the classroom and our community while competing for conference championships and successfully representing the College and conference in the NCAA tournament. We have a phenomenal team and staff to support our mission and we have a great opportunity for a very successful year."
Sands' first head coaching gig was at Division III Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey from 1997-98 before serving his country as a Captain in the U.S. Army for six years, including a deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He returned to coaching in the summer of 2005 as the head coach for the All-Army Sports/All-Armed Forces Sports team, leading them to a bronze medal at the USA Volleyball Championships.
The Pennsylvania native graduated from King's College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Sands then earned his master's degree in organizational psychology in 2012 from Columbia University. He has also completed Level I, Level II, and Level III of the USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program as well as the Volleyball Conditioning Course.
With the 2014 fall season just around the corner, Devine concluded, "I know our volleyball student-athletes and our staff are excited to welcome Jeremy and his family to the St. Mary's College community."
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMVB, #SeahawkAthletics