Manuel Concepcion steps down as WCU’s volleyball coach

A national search for a new head volleyball coach is on at Western Carolina after Manuel Concepcion, who had been at the helm of the Lady Catamount volleyball team since 2009, turned in an immediate letter of resignation.

According to Chip Smith, director of athletics, Concepcion resigned a few weeks ago due to “personal reasons”. He has since returned to his home country of Puerto Rico.

Concepcion, who was announced as Western Carolina’s eighth volleyball coach on Jan. 27, 2009, came to Cullowhee after spending a year as an assistant coach at University of Evansville. He assisted in the club’s jump from a seventh place finish in 2007 to reaching the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in 2008. Prior to his stint at Evansville, Concepcion was the head coach at Colby Community College, a NJCAA Division I school in Kansas. At just 25 years of age, he was the youngest head coach in the history of the Kansas Jayhawk Conference.

Before his coaching career, Concepcion played college volleyball at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez before transferring to Concordia College in New York. In 2002, he was drafted by the San Sebastian Caribes of the Puerto Rico Professional Superior League.

As of press time, the athletic department had not begun interviews for WCU’s new volleyball coach.

According to the university’s job board, the new volleyball coach is expected to coordinate the overall operation and management of the university’s intercollegiate athletic women’s volleyball program, including but not limited to: recruitment and retention of qualified student athletes, apply best practices for student athlete development, individual and team preparation, practice and game organization, scheduling, and alumni and community relations.

In addition, the coach is expected to comply with NCAA, the Southern Conference and university policies and regulations, and to plan, monitor and be accountable for the administration of the program’s budget and for the assignment of athletics scholarships, responsible for assisting in the development of sand volleyball, capable for recruiting and developing student athletes for sand volleyball and assume responsibility for the success of team performance and for student athlete academic performance, eligibility, and behavioral conduct.

Last season, the Lady Catamount volleyball team finished with a 6-26 overall record and a 1-15 mark in the Southern Conference. All said, WCU was 10-52 overall under Concepcion and 2-30 in the Southern Conference.