Williams captures 700th career victory; fifth best among active NAIA volleyball coaches


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During the fifth tournament of the regular season, the Olivet Nazarene University women's volleyball team went 3-1 on the weekend with one of those wins being a landmark moment in head coach Brenda Williams' head coaching career. With the victory over William Penn University (Iowa) on Saturday afternoon, Williams was able to capture her 700th career victory.

Brenda Williams is currently in her 14th season and 25th season overall. Her head coaching career began in 1980 as she became one of the youngest NCAA Division I head coaches at the age of 24 when she took over the University of Alabama-Birmingham program. What began as a part-time program, Williams led the Blazers to a 290-227 overall record and three postseason appearances in her 12 seasons as the Blazers' head coach. She was named the 1989 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Blazers to a second place finish in the league and a 25-19 overall record.

In her final season at UAB in 1991, the Blazers migrated to the Great Midwest Conference, where Williams guided the program to a school-record 33 wins, a conference championship and an AVCA National Rating Index of 50 out of 264 Division I teams. That year also saw the Blazers earn the program's third appearance in the NIVC, where two players were named to the all-tournament team. An additional four players were named all-conference while another was named Great Midwest Newcomer of the Year.

During her career in Birmingham, Williams coached three AVCA All-Region selections, 16 All-Sun Belt honorees, two Sun Belt Players of the Year and one Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP. She also mentored two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, two Sun Belt Conference Female Academic Athletes of the Year and 19 All-Sun Belt Academic selections.

Williams then took over the reigns at Olivet Nazarene University in the fall of 1996. Under her guidance, Olivet Nazarene has had 10 straight winning seasons since 1999, and has averaged 29.9 wins per season during that span.

Williams, the recipient of 13 coach of the year awards (seven conference, four regional and two national), led the Tigers to seven NAIA National Tournament appearances, seven CCAC regular season championships, as well as back-to-back NCCAA National Championships. Under her direction, Olivet has produced 19 NAIA All-Americans, five CCAC Players of the Year, five CCAC Freshmen of the Year, three NAIA Region VII Players of the Year, 28 NAIA All-Region VII selections, two NCCAA Players of the Year and 15 NCCAA All-Americans. The Tigers have also combined for 61 All-CCAC awards and 26 NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete certificates.

With the 290 victories tallied at UAB, combined with her current career totals at ONU (410), Williams currently stands with a career record of 700-456, fifth best among active NAIA volleyball coaches.

Article courtesy of Olivet Nazarene University Athletics

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