CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Charleston Southern University has named Al Givens as its head volleyball coach, as announced by CSU Athletic Director Hank Small on Monday.
Givens boasts an impressive resume as he takes over the reins of the Lady Bucs’ volleyball program, bringing 34 years of coaching experience over all levels. At the Division I level, Givens spent time at Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Weber State, where he combined for 378 career wins. He has 392 wins at the university level and will be looking for his 400th career win in the 2012 season. He replaces longtime CSU head coach Danyel Bellush, who spent 15 seasons as Lady Bucs’ head coach before stepping down last month.
"First and foremost, I’d like to thank Athletic Director Small for extending the opportunity for me to be a part of the Buccaneers family," commented Givens. "I’m excited about the move and the transition as there is a strong core and nucleus of players in the program excited to taste success. Danyel put together a really good roster for the upcoming season, and my wife and I are excited to be a part of the CSU family and be a part of the Big South Conference."
Givens comes to CSU after turning around the program at Texas A&M International. Last season at TAMIU, Givens was named the 2012 Heartland Conference’s Coach of the Year after leading the DustDevils to a 14-18 record and their first bid to the Heartland Conference Tournament in five years. Heading into Givens’ first season at TAMIU, the DustDevils won one match in 2010 (1-25) and had not qualified for their league tournament in four seasons.
"Excellence will be our standard and what we strive for in every endeavor in our lives," said Givens. "We look forward as a team to building relationships with the people, campus community and Charleston itself. It will be a lot of work, but also a lot of fun along the way."
Givens started his coaching career in Yuma, Arizona in 1977 where he was head coach at Kofa High School. After four years at Kofa, he made the jump to college volleyball taking the head coach job at Arizona Western College.
In 1984, he made the leap into Division I, taking an assistant coach position at the University of Mississippi. The following season he was promoted to head coach and spent one year as the Rebels’ head coach before accepting the same role at Texas A&M University in College Station in 1986. During his two years at Ole Miss, the Rebels went 50-28, and Givens had a 29-15 record as the head coach. During his time with the Aggies, Givens picked up numerous Top 25 wins and one Top 10 win over No. 7 Texas in 1991, finishing his career with the Aggies with an overall 123-122 record.
After seven years with the Aggies, he accepted the head coaching job at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He had several Top 25 wins and one Top 10 win over No. 10 Utah in 2002. He was named Big Sky Coach of the Year in 2006 and finished his 18-season career at Weber State as the longest tenured volleyball coach in the history of the Big Sky Conference.
During his tenure as a head coach, (28 years at DI & II) Givens has coached 154 academic all-conference selections, 64 all-conference players, 10 all tournament team selections, four all South Region players, 4 Newcomers of the Year, two Freshman of the Year, one NCAA Women of the Year and one NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year, several Regional and National Academic All-Americans.
Givens received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1975 from William Jennings Bryan College, where he also played varsity soccer and baseball. He received his Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University in 1983.
He is married to Flossie McNally, a former volleyball coach who he met while coaching at rival schools in Arizona. He and his wife have three children, two daughters, Stephanie and Cori, and a son, Matthew.