David DeLozier

Submitted / The Herald New Edgewood volleyball coach David DeLozier has spent most of his coaching career at the college level.

For the third time in as many seasons, Edgewood volleyball will be under new direction. The Wildcats recently announced the hiring of David DeLozier and the former college coach has already started to get things rolling with his new program.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” DeLozier said. “I actually got to meet with my team the other day at a meet and greet. They’re coming off a state championship so obviously players and parents are excited to start working on getting another one.”

Former Edgewood coach Hannah Josey took over the volleyball program at Briarwood after leading the Wildcats to a state title in her only year as the team’s coach, opening the door for DeLozier.

“There’s a little pressure because obviously the expectations are high,” DeLozier said. “I’ve already been a college coach so even though they are a solid team, I think I can help them improve and we can see a new kind of success.”

DeLozier spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Alabama State University, which won back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament Championships and appeared in the NCAA tournament both seasons. Prior to ASU, DeLozier coached at Olivet Nazarene University, Midwestern State University and Zone-in Volleyball Academy in Wichita Falls, Texas.

It’s not often a coach jumps from the Division I ranks to high school, much less the AISA, but with COVID-19 having a financial effect on many college programs, DeLozier explored other options and it did not take him long to realize Edgewood was the right place for him to be.

“A lot of schools are struggling right now so that wasn’t too much of an option anymore,” DeLozier said. “I’ve always been a big fan of teaching too though so when Edgewood came up, it really made me think this is my chance to make the jump.”

DeLozier has coached club volleyball during the college offseason, so he has experience coaching high school players. But he knows there will be some differences at his new gig including the need for a much tighter relationship with players’ families and the community.

“Parents are much more involved and that’s rightly so,” DeLozier said. “I have some experience with parents and I know you have to address any concerns and frustrations. I have to look at it as an opportunity and at the end of the day, hopefully we all want the same thing and that’s what’s best for these kids. Parents may have their infamous stories but I think they can be an asset.”

DeLozier believes his experience at the college level will help especially in the recruiting process for the players.

“When I first got into college coaching, I knew a lot of coaches that were always about D-1 or I’m a failure,” DeLozier said. “But really, you see different levels and realize you’re not a bust if you’re not at the top. That’s the same thing for players. You should have your dreams but at the same time, being realistic and knowing going to D-2 or NAIA can still give you what you’re looking for athletically and academically. With the resources at Edgewood and me knowing what it takes and what college coaches are looking for, I think we can really help these kids reach those dreams.” 

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.