Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns named Heather Mazeitis the 12th head women's volleyball coach in school history
Volleyball 12/17/2007 Courtesy RaginCajuns.com
LAFAYETTE- Louisiana�s Ragin� Cajuns named Heather Mazeitis the 12th head women�s volleyball coach in school history on Monday. Her hiring is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
Mazeitis replaces Amy Kraljev, who resigned to pursue other opportunities.
Mazeitis will begin her new post effective Jan. 1, 2008. She inherits a team that finished 4-29 in 2007, but did earn the Sun Belt Conference Team GPA Award, as the Cajuns posted a 3.4 team grade point average, with every scholarship student-athlete on the squad earning a 3.0 GPA or better, for 2006-07.
The 2007 Cajuns had just two seniors and seven freshmen.
�I am truly excited over the possibilities that exist at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and its volleyball program,� stated Mazeitis. �I believe that UL volleyball can be a tremendous program in the future.
�While I admit to being proud of the progress on the court, where my teams are known for technical soundness and their strong will, I am most proud that I was and will always build a program within the context of an educational and ethical framework.�
No stranger to Louisiana, Mazeitis spent seven seasons at the helm of the Louisiana Tech volleyball program where she was named head volleyball coach on Jan. 30, 2001.
She coached several Techsters into the record books highlighted by junior Shannon Phillips becoming on the second Techster to enter the illustrious 1,000-kill club.
�Coach Mazeitis has 12 years of experience working with student-athletes,� said senior associate director of athletics Scott Farmer. �She has been successful academically, as well as athletically, and places an emphasis on both aspects of coaching.�
�Her record against the Sun Belt is impressive,� added Farmer. �Coach has captured tournament titles in Lafayette in 2003 and 2005 and we look forward to her building our program.�
In 2005, her team won the Scott Clause Advertising Classic (the tournament hosted by the Cajuns) and the Troy Tournament while placing second in the Mercer Tournament. Mazeitis was one of just 35 female coaches to be invited to attend the NCAA Women�s Coaches Academy, which took place in June of 2005 in Atlanta.
In total, The Leavenworth, Kan., native boasts a 13-4 record versus opponents from the Sun Belt Conference.
Mazeitis� leadership was instrumental in revitalizing the Lady Techsters volleyball program.
When Mazeitis arrived in Ruston in 2000, the program was coming off an 8-26 season including going winless in conference play, and the team had averaged just 11 wins per season in the four years prior to her hiring. Since that time, Mazeitis has coached five All-WAC performers and 22 Academic All-WAC honorees.
Mazeitis led Tech to back-to-back winning seasons in 2003-04 for the first time since 1995-96. The 2003 team finished a best-ever seventh in the WAC and swept two Eastern Division opponents, UTEP and Tulsa, while posting some very impressive numbers along the way. The team spent its second-straight season ranked among the nation�s leaders in aces per game and actually set the WAC record with 23 aces in the season opener against Alcorn State. Tech won tournament titles at Louisiana-Lafayette and Drake in 2003 along with a second-place finish at Tulane.
A win over ULM (10-17-04) gave Mazeitis her 200th career victory, placing her second on the all-time career wins list at Tech.
There have been many highlights for Tech under Mazeitis, but the most impressive fact is the Lady Techsters in 2002 posted an 11-win improvement over the previous season. This tied Tech for the seventh biggest turnaround in college volleyball, and it came from a program that played one of the toughest schedules in school history with match-ups against Hawaii, Fresno State, Washington, Nevada, LSU, Tulane and Houston.
The 2002 team etched its name throughout the school record books both individually and as a team. Tech posted a school record 257 aces, which placed the Lady Techsters among the nation�s leaders. The Lady Techsters also posted the fourth most digs in school history and recorded the highest per game kill average in school history.
The team won its first tournament in nine years at the Southern Mississippi Tournament in 2002 and won its last five home matches, while shocking the rest of the league by qualifying for the postseason tournament.
The Lady Techsters finished fifth in the WAC in attendance in 2004, quite a feat in an area where there is no high school volleyball played.
Prior to her time at Tech, Mazeitis led a successful junior college volleyball program at Kansas City (Kan.) Community College in five seasons as the head coach.
The winningest coach in KCKCC history (single season and career), Mazeitis compiled a 161-110 record as head coach of the Lady Blue Devils. Her squad was featured in the top 20 NJCAA Division I Volleyball national rankings each of her final two seasons. During her tenure at KCKCC, she coached 20 All-Conference athletes, nine all-region athletes and one All-American. Over 80 percent of her players earned Academic honors en-route to graduating and transferring to finish their careers at four-year programs.
In the 1999-2000 academic year, Mazeitis became the first person to earn Coach of the Year honors in two sports in the NJCAA Division I Jayhawk Conference. She was named Coach of Year in volleyball and softball that year.
In addition to coaching collegiate volleyball, Mazeitis has also been involved in USA junior club volleyball in the Heart of America Region. She led her Team KC 16 & under club to the USA Volleyball junior nationals and a seventh place finish in the 2000 club season.
Mazeitis earned her business administration degree in 1992 from Central Oklahoma where she played middle blocker for the Bronco�s volleyball program. Prior to Central Oklahoma, she had a one-year stint at Emporia State before transferring to Fort Scott Community College where Mazeitis was the only three-sport athlete in school history, playing volleyball, basketball and softball.
She was inducted into the Fort Scott Community College Hall of Fame, where she was a standout basketball, softball and volleyball player.
Mazeitis graduated from Immaculata Catholic High School in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1988 and earned all-state honors in volleyball and basketball.