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COACHING STAFF

 

RYAN FREEBURG |  ASSISTANT COACH - DIRECTOR OF CAMPS

Ryan Freeburg enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Samford volleyball program.

Freeburg comes to Samford from the University of Alabama, where he was on the Crimson Tide’s staff from 2014 through 2018. He served as the team’s interim head coach for the final five matches of the 2018 season, posting a 2-3 record in SEC play.
 
Freeburg was an assistant coach at Alabama from February 2014 until being named interim head coach last November. Freeburg worked primarily with passing, blocking and defense.
 
Prior to arriving at Alabama, Freeburg was an assistant coach at the University of Dayton during the 2013 season, helping train the Flyers’ setters and middle blockers. Serving as the team’s defensive coordinator, his Dayton squad averaged 3.00 blocks-per-set, which ranked third nationally.
 
Prior to Dayton Freeburg spent two seasons as an assistant coach at George Washington University, where he trained the team’s serve receive, blocking and outside hitters.
 
Freeburg is a 2010 graduate of Purdue University, where he spent three years as a student manager for the Boilermakers and one season as a volunteer assistant coach. During the 2010 season, he helped Purdue to an Elite Eight finish in the NCAA Tournament with wins throughout the season against No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Penn State and No. 10 Illinois. He also founded the Lafayette Volleyball Academy in Lafayette, Ind., and worked with the Munciana Volleyball Club in Muncie, Ind.
 
The Samford volleyball program is coming off its second Southern Conference Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years.

Freeburg is married to the former Betsy Smith, who is also an assistant coach for the Bulldogs.
 

 


BETSY SMITH ASSISTANT COACH - RECRUITING COORDINATOR

Betsy Smith, a former standout at the University of Florida, All-Southeastern Conference performer and three-year collegiate assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, officially joined Samford’s coaching staff on April 21, 2017.
 
Samford head volleyball coach Keylor Chan named Betsy Smith as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bulldogs. Smith most recently spent the previous three seasons at Georgia State University.
 
“We are truly blessed to have Betsy Join the Bulldog volleyball family,” said Chan. “From the beginning of our search, it was clear that Betsy possessed the exact skill-set we were looking for in our open assistant position. Betsy has developed a passion for coaching and the sport of volleyball. She has a great acumen in building quality relationships. Her experience as a coach, student-athlete, and most important person will be an asset to our program.
 
“The foundation of Samford volleyball is our people. Our people must have a desire to learn, create, be process-oriented, dedicated, tough and humble. Betsy embodies all these principles and we are excited to begin our next chapter with Betsy on staff.”
 
During her time at Georgia State, Smith served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Head Coach Sally Polhamus where she assisted in the commitment of 22 student-athletes. She also managed evaluation days and the recruiting calendar, while operating as the primary liaison to compliance.
 
Additionally, Smith proved to be Georgia State’s defensive coordinator where she created defensive strategies and game plans in scouting. She also planned practices and trained the middle blockers and attackers, while contributing to the team’s overall defensive scheme.
 
"I'm thrilled to join Keylor and Ben (Assistant Coach Sabin) as a part of the Samford family,” said Smith. “Samford volleyball is building something incredibly special and I look forward to contributing to our team's progress and growth both on and off the court. It's an exciting time to be a Bulldog and I'm honored to have this opportunity."
 
Smith also boasts experience as an assistant coach for USA Volleyball. Since 2015, she has been aiding the program where she has served as court coach and evaluator for the USAV High Performance Program tryouts. Additionally, she worked as an apprentice coach for the 2016 Girls’ Future Select National Training Program and was an assistant coach for the 2016 Girls’ Youth National Team Prospect Training Block.
 
Following her illustrious four-year career at Florida, Smith immediately found her calling in the coaching ranks and earned an assistant coaching job at the Orlando Volleyball Academy. She spent three months there with the club where she coached the top 16s team along with Head Coach Joe Jablonski.
 
Smith served as team captain her senior year at Florida and led the Gators to a Southeastern Conference championship, as well as a national top-10 finish. She garnered Second Team All-SEC honors along the way.
 
Smith, who redshirted as a true freshman in 2008, played a key role on her Florida squad that advanced to four Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight, while garnering a trio of SEC titles. She also excelled in the classroom and was named to four straight SEC Fall Academic Honor Rolls (2009-12).
 
At Samford, Smith joins a program that won the Southern Conference Tournament last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs accomplished the feat in Chan’s first year at the helm.
 
SMITH’S COLLEGE CAREER - FLORIDA

  •     Team Captain (2012)
  •     Second Team All-SEC (2012)
  •     One Elite Eight finish (2011)
  •     Four Sweet 16 finishes (2008, ’09, ’10, ’12)
  •     Three SEC Championships (2008, ‘10, ‘12)
  •     Four-time SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll (2009-12)
  •     SEC Freshman Honor Roll (2008)
  •     Recipient of the prestigious H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.
  •     Chairman of FLAs (2011)
  •     SAAC President (2011-12)
  •     SAAC Representative (2008-12)
  •     UAA Board of Directors (2011-12)



SMITH’S PREP CAREER - WESLEYAN (ATLANTA, GA.)

  •     26th ranked recruit in 2008 class
  •     2007 Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year
  •     2006 and 2007 Georgia A/AA Player of the Year
  •     Four-time state champion
  •     Three-time all-state
  •     Junior National A2 Team Member 2006 and 2007
  •     Captain of the Junior National A2 team that won the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia
  •     "Circle of Honor" (Hall of Fame) inductee