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Volleyball: Gray Selects Morales to Complete Louisiana Volleyball Coaching Staff
Leadership group now in place as Ragin’ Cajuns prepare for a new era this fall
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball head coach Kristi Gray announced on Tuesday (July 13, 2021) the hiring of Joe Morales as an assistant coach, completing the coaching staff for her debut season with the program in fall 2021.
Morales joins Jazmyne Johnson, who was hired in June 2021, on the coaching staff that will assist Gray in leading the Ragin' Cajuns into a new era in the upcoming 2021 season.
"Joe is a great addition to our staff," Gray said. "He is very well known and connected throughout the Texas volleyball scene which will be great for us with him taking on the role as the recruiting coordinator. On top of that, Joe has a lot of experience in training that he will bring to the gym."
In addition to serving as the program's recruiting coordinator, Morales' duties will include training the Ragin' Cajuns' setters and assisting with the defense.
For the previous nine seasons (2012-2021), Morales served on the coaching staff for Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He helped lead the Javelinas to the Lone Star Conference Tournament every season, and a program-record seven consecutive winning seasons to conclude his tenure.
In spring 2021 the Javelinas posted an undefeated regular season record – the first in program history – resulting in a Lone Star Conference South Division Championship, and were a mainstay in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll finishing at No. 13.
Morales' recruiting efforts assisted in 11 new players arriving at TAMUK in 2018, three of which attained all-conference status in 2019 led by sophomore libero Nicole Murff who was an All-LSC First-Team selection. Murff set a program record for digs by a first-year player with 594 during the 2018 season.
Primarily working with the Javelinas' setters, Morales mentored two-time All-LSC selection Casey Klobedans who concluded her career in 2017 as the program's all-time leader in assists with 5,055, over 2,000 more than the school's next highest total. As a freshman in 2014, Klobedans was named Lone Star Conference Setter of the Year.
Morales and the TAMUK coaching staff directed the program to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016. That season the squad collected 26 wins, the most in program history, and posted the nation's fourth-highest assists total (1,602).
Prior to Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Morales served as a volunteer assistant for now-Sun Belt Conference foe Texas State in the 2011 season helping the Bobcats capture the Southland Conference regular season and tournament titles.
His collegiate coaching career began in 2009 at Iowa Central Community College as an assistant coach.
Throughout his coaching career Morales has worked various summer volleyball camps with Texas State and Texas, working and learning under their respective coaching staff.
Morales received a bachelor's degree in communications from Texas State in December 2006 and a master's degree in sports and athletic administration from Gonzaga in May 2009. While at Texas State, he was a member of the men's volleyball club as a setter/right side hitter.
Louisiana Volleyball begins a new era in fall 2021 with Gray's inaugural season marking the first time a new leader is on the sidelines since 2008. The Ragin' Cajuns (17-7, 11-5 Sun Belt in 2020) seek to build upon the first back-to-back seasons of double-digit wins in Sun Belt Conference play and continue the climb to the top of the league standings.
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