Former Illinois volleyball assistant coach Rashinda Reed departs program, will become new Alabama head coach


Ryan Ash

Rashinda Reed coaches from the sideline during Illinois volleyball’s match against Purdue on Oct. 6. Reed was named the new head coach at Alabama on Monday.

By Jackson Janes, Sports Editor

Illinois assistant coach Rashinda Reed has been named the new head volleyball coach at Alabama, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Reed spent five years in Champaign, helping coach the Illini to a 100-62 record and four NCAA tournament appearances during that stretch, including a Final Four run in 2018 and, most recently, a Sweet 16 berth this season.

“I am extremely excited for this opportunity for Rashinda,” said Illinois head coach Chris Tamas, per a statement. “She is a great coach and even a better person. Our bond goes well beyond us coaching together. She is my best friend and sister. She is creative, innovative and has always pushed this program to be better each and every day. I am forever thankful and grateful for her being with us for the last five seasons and wish her the best as she builds her own program.”

Focusing primarily with the team’s middle blockers, Reed coached Ali Bastianelli, who earned First-Team All-Big Ten and Third-Team AVCA All-America honors in 2018 and Ashlyn Fleming, who earned Second-Team All-Big Ten accolades in 2018 and 2019. Reed also helped Illinois establish a dominant duo of Kyla Swanson and Kennedy Collins, who combined for 434 kills and ands 232 total blocks this fall.

Alabama finished the 2021 fall season 10-20 overall and 2-16 in conference play. Reed, who is the first Black female head coach in program history, will look to guide the Crimson Tide to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2014.

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