U.S. Olympic volleyball player and No. 22 on VBM’s list of the top 35 U.S. volleyball players of all time, Rita Crockett has been hired as the head coach of the newly formed sand volleyball program at Florida International University (FIU). The program plans to begin competition in the spring of 2013.
“Rita’s hiring demonstrates FIU’s commitment to developing a successful NCAA sand program,” said Ali Wood Lamberson, USA Volleyball director of beach programs, in a press release. “USAV Beach looks forward to assisting Rita and all NCAA sand coaches in identifying talented athletes and developing the sport at the collegiate level.”
Crockett was a key member of the 1984 U.S. Women’s Olympic team that won the silver medal in Los Angeles. She was also a part of the 1980 team that did not compete due to the boycott of the Moscow Olympics. A 1984 Sports Illustrated piece labeled her the world’s best athlete of all time.
In addition to the head coaching duties, Crockett will also be taking on the role of Assistant Director of Athletics for volleyball operations. She has fulfilled head coaching stints at both Florida State University from 2004-2006 and the University of Iowa from 1998-2004.
Originally published in February 2012