Experienced Club Coach Michael Carter to Head Golden Tigers Volleyball
Brenau University has named ProLink Atlanta Volleyball Club cofounder Michael Carter to direct the Golden Tigers intercollegiate volleyball program.
Carter replaces Jeff White, who left the team earlier this year for the head coaching job at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama.
Brenau Athletics Director Mike Lochstampfor said the combination of Carter’s experience at the collegiate level and his business acumen in running a club make him a good fit for the Golden Tigers.
“He has connections within that club and other clubs to recruit to Brenau and some of our current athletes know of him and his expertise,” Lochstampfor said. “I know there’s a tremendous amount of respect for him from our current team and I think that will translate on the court.”
Carter, 40, was head coach at Spelman College from 1997 to 2000, but left the collegiate ranks to concentrate on club coaching. The North Carolina native played collegiate volleyball at George Mason University from 1994-97 and was varsity team captain. He was an assistant coach at Marymount University in 1996-97.
From 1997-2010 Carter was team captain and organizer of the ProLink VBC Men’s Team, a semi-pro squad that ranked as high as No. 9 at USA Nationals.
Brenau junior Lindsay Kelly and sophomore Bailey Hicks knew Carter through programs at the ProLink Club where some other Brenau players often work out. Carter said they told him about the job opening with the Golden Tigers volleyball team, and he followed up.
“The challenge of working with collegiate student-athletes was very attractive to me,” Carter said, “and to build a program at a university like Brenau, which is close to home and won’t require relocating, had a lot of upside.”
Carter and partner Mark Reilly founded ProLink Atlanta VBC in 2007 with three teams and 32 members. That number has grown to 15 teams and more than 160 members. The club has several facilities throughout the Cumming area.
“He has a great volleyball mind and will certainly enhance our program,” Lochstampfor said.
Carter began work at Brenau on March 19. Last season the Golden Tigers were 17-18 overall and 6-8 in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
The squad has a mix of young players, with six freshmen on the 2013-14 roster as well as more experienced athletes.
“This is a really motivated team,” said Lochstampfor. “In the interim without a coach, they were working out on their own and taking it upon themselves to demonstrate that they will do whatever they can to enhance their efforts and ability to do great things.”
Carter said the Brenau players make up a “good athletic group. They’ve got good heads on their shoulders.”
He plans to analyze the roster and find out what the recruiting needs are.
“I’m a very competitive person by nature,” Carter said. “The bar is set high. We have a phenomenal coaching staff (in the Brenau athletic department) and I’m very lucky and very blessed to be a part of it.”
Carter, father of a 6-year-old son, Trevor, lives in Sugar Hill, Ga.