(Story courtesy of Centenary Sports Information Department)
SHREVEPORT, La. – Centenary Director of Athletics and Recreation Marcus Manning has announced Ashley McDonough as the new Ladies Volleyball coach.
"In Ashley, we've identified a leader who has the ability to connect the dots of talent, unique perspectives, and experiences with regards to today's student-athlete," said Manning. "I'm excited to welcome Ashley to the Centenary and Shreveport-Bossier communities."
McDonough comes to Shreveport after serving as the head coach of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, for four seasons (2015-18).
"I'm both excited and grateful for this opportunity. The volleyball program has a really solid foundation and competes in a high caliber conference. My personal coaching motto is 'All Grit No Quit,' and I felt that same energy from the young women at Centenary," said McDonough. "Outside of the position, I'm appreciative to join the Shreveport community. This move brings me closer to my friends and family in Texas, where I resided for just more than 17 years. This role is a great fit, and I'm happy to be here."
Despite fielding only eight student-athletes in McDonough's first season at Knox, the volleyball team had as many wins as the three previous seasons combined. In 2016 and 2017, the Lady Prairie Fire led the Midwest Conference in total digs and digs per set. For the 2017 season, the Lady Prairie Fire posted the most wins since the 1995 season.
Individual achievements for Knox volleyball under McDonough's direction include libero Keiyah Triplett finishing the 2016 season fourth in the nation in digs per set (6.93), becoming the highest ranking volleyball player in that category in Knox history. McDonough also coached opposite hitter Rose Griffin to three All-Conference honors. Griffin finished her collegiate career second in school history in total kills. In 2018, McDonough once again coached a libero into the national rankings. Sophomore Mady Ferris finished the regular season fourth in the country in digs per set (5.56). Ferris (686) broke the single-season dig record.
Prior to her stint at Knox, McDonough spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Cayuga Community College. In her first season, she guided the Spartans to their most wins since the reintroduction of the program in 2010. She also had two All Mid-State Athletic Conference (MSAC) honorees.
Her previous coaching experience also includes serving as a volunteer assistant at the University of Houston, a head coach and drill instructor for the Gulf Coast Volleyball Association's 13-15 age groups, and the varsity volleyball head coach at Living Stones Christian Academy.
Outside of coaching volleyball, McDonough has an impressive resume in non-profit development, fundraising, and marketing. She served as the founder/president of Helping Houston's Homeless (2004-2006), the development director for Asians Against Domestic Abuse (2010), a member of the United Way Speakers Bureau (2009), the education and events coordinator at Bay Area Turning Point (2008), and as treasurer for the Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families (2009). She also worked closely with the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFL) and assisted with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), working in a prevention education role (2008-2010).
From 2009-2011, McDonough ran a small marketing company in the Houston area called AMAC Solutions.
A 2005 graduate of Houston-Clear Lake with a degree in criminology, McDonough received a master of business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Centenary Volleyball finished the 2018 season with an 18-18 overall record – only the third time in tn he program's 34-year history that the Ladies finished .500 or better. Centenary also finished tied for fourth in the conference with a 7-9 record. The seven SCAC wins is easily the most conference victories in program history. Individually, freshman Rachel Demerjiareceived Second Team All-Conference honors as well as one vote for SCAC Freshman of the Year.