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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Julie Darty introduced as MSU’s new volleyball coach

Kelly Price | MSU Communications

New MSU volleyball head coach Julie Darty spoke after athletic director John Cohen at the introductory press conference on Wednesday morning. 

Fierce, eager, personal and unafraid to step down from a challenge, are all traits athletic director John Cohen found in new volleyball head coach Julie Darty, as Mississippi State University introduced the new coach on Wednesday morning.

She has a vision for our program and she’s eager to enhance our volleyball brand here at Mississippi State,” Cohen said. “She comes to us with eight years of volleyball coaching experience, including two years in the Southeastern Conference.”

Darty, 31-years-old, laid out her first vision, with the first step being to make the team great, and as a result of that, she believes the team will be tougher competition and will not go down easy. 

“Some of the pillars that we are going to focus on: we’re going to be great,I think we’ve got to toughen up. If we’re going to get beat, we’re going to be tough to beat,” Darty said.

Darty said she wants the Newell-Grissom to be as tough as it was when she remembers from her time at the University of South Carolina.

“I love the volleyball facility,” Darty said. “I think it’s a really hostile environment if we can get it loud and be proud to play there. So great, just durability as competitors, as people.”

Her next step is for her student athletes to carry themselves with grace and gratitude. She wants her players to become better people, and to have confidence in their abilities. As far as playing style, she said she will focus on passing.

“The first couple of practices, I might bore them to death,” Darty said. “We might not lift our arm to swing at a ball for a really long time, until we pass the ball at a really high level.”

Darty said she will hit the recruiting trail this Friday and knows she has her work cut out for her. However, she has connections to club volleyball and will hit those pockets of talented players hard.

“I have some really great connections with clubs that I have good relationships with, and one of the themes that we’re going to talk about, once my staff gets here, from a recruiting standpoint is making it saturated,” Darty said. “We’re going to saturate the places that love us already, and we’re going to leave maroon and white in their gym, in their club.”

Darty thinks the players will connect with her because she wears her heart on her sleeve. She started meeting with her players on Wednesday afternoon, in an effort to build the relationships with her current players.  

“I’m going to get to know them as people. Then I want to get to know them as players, too. That’s why I have that first question about who they are as a competitor,” Darty said. “On the sidelines, I don’t get too crazy. I like to keep it simple my energy is consistent. I’m going to be the same person for them all the time.”

Darty understands this program will be a challenge, but she sees it as an opportunity to start something great at MSU. She views her new position as a new beginning that has the possibility of becoming something special.

“I’m young, so I don’t think it’s the right thing to do to open the history books and look back at the history of the program,” Darty said. “ I think it’s a fresh start and a clean slate. We’ve got so much potential; we’ve got so much growth. We’re at ground zero, and I think that’s a good place to be. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Julie Darty introduced as MSU’s new volleyball coach