NC A&T hires one of their own as Head Volleyball Coach
July 7, 2009
In an effort to return North Carolina A&T’s volleyball team into a serious MEAC contender again, Athletics Director Wheeler Brown has turned to someone who is familiar with Aggie volleyball success.
On Tuesday, Brown named N.C. A&T alumnus Toni Conway as the new head volleyball coach. Conway spent the previous four seasons as the head coach at Division II Bowie State.
“I am impressed with coach Conway’s overall commitment to academics and discipline,’’ said Brown. “She was a very impressive student-athlete in the classroom and on the court when she attended A&T. Therefore, I know she will stress the importance of being a complete student-athlete. She will demand hard work, dedication and respect from our ladies. Those are the very things that made this program a solid one for many years.” Conway coached at Bowie State from 2005-08. Three out of those four seasons saw the Bulldogs finish with a winning record in the CIAA. The Bulldogs won 52 games under Conway’s tenure. In 2007, Conway led the Bulldogs to an historical season.
The program reached the CIAA Championship final for the first time in school history. During the 2007 regular season, the Bulldogs went 16-14 overall and 8-5 in the conference. Conway also coached the CIAA Rookie of the Year in middle hitter Bethany Sloat in the same season. Seven players from Bowie State made second-team All-CIAA in 2008.
“I’m so excited about returning to North Carolina A&T,’’ said Conway, who earned a B.S., in health physical education and recreation (HPER) and fitness and wellness management in 2001. “I’m ready to get started with our young ladies, so we can begin the task of turning this program around. We want this program to be something Aggies can be proud of.” Conway was an outside hitter and defensive specialist for the Aggies. During Conway’s playing days, N.C. A&T went 31-7 in the MEAC, including an 8-0 conference record in 1998. It was the first and only time in school history the Aggies finished the conference season undefeated. Conway was also a two-year member of the Aggies swim team.
Conway’s classroom work was also impressive. She was a three-time scholar athlete, and she represented her academic major as the HPER president. Conway’s head coaching experience also includes a stint at Division III Trinity University. She also built statewide competitive programs at Oxon Hill High School in Maryland where she coached volleyball, tennis and was the co-head coach of the swimming team.
“I am a strong believer of being a student of the game,’’ said Conway. “It’s hard to perform at your best if you don’t understand the game. It will take a lot of studying, hard work and discipline to get us back to the level of play everyone is accustomed to us playing. I am confident we will get there.”