CLEMSON, S.C. – Twenty-year coaching veteran Brian Yale and former Tiger standout Alexa Rand have joined the Clemson volleyball staff for the 2015 season, Head Coach Hugh Hernesman announced on Tuesday afternoon. Yale serves as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the Tigers, while Rand joins the staff as a Graduate Assistant Director of Operations.
“We’re elated to be able to add Brian and Alexa to our staff,” said Hernesman. “Brian, with his numerous years in the sport and at the Division I level, brings an incredible amount of experience and success to our volunteer position and will be a huge asset for Clemson Volleyball. I’ve always admired when people do a good job in a very difficult situation and Brian did just that at UTPA. Additionally, Brian was a key component as an assistant at Stephen F. Austin during the most successful run of their rich program history. Brian’s initial role for us will to be to help oversee some special projects and program enhancements – something he has already begun doing.
“Alexa has also already begun her role as Director of Volleyball Operations and is a great addition to our staff,” Hernesman added. “She’s extremely organized and most importantly, has a true passion for Clemson Volleyball and Clemson University. Having played here for four years, Alexa understands what a special place Clemson is and what a privilege it is to be a part of this Athletic Department and University family. As she finishes up her graduate degree, Alexa will help in a variety of program support and organizational roles.”
Yale comes to Clemson after four seasons as the head coach at the University of Texas – Pan American. In 2014, he led UTPA to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, and the program’s first appearance in a conference tournament with an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament since 1996. In May of 2015, the UTPA program was the recipient of the NCAA Public Recognition Award for recording a multi-year APR rate in the top 10 percent among all Division I volleyball programs. In fact, the Broncs’ volleyball program’s multi-year APR score was a perfect 1,000.
Prior to serving as the Broncs’ head coach, Yale was an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin from 2005-10. At Stephen F. Austin, he helped coach one Honorable Mention All-American, one Southland Conference Player of the Year and 10 All-Southland Conference award winners, among others. He was part of the Lumberjacks’ staff for the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament win, over Alabama in 2006.
Before joining the collegiate coaching ranks, Yale taught and served as the head coach at Genoa High School in Genoa, Ohio from 1995-2005, during which time the volleyball program posted a 121-51 (.703) overall record. He played collegiate volleyball for Bowling Green State from 1993-97, and graduated from the school with a Bachelor of Science in Education (Exercise Specialist) in 1997. Yale and his wife, Shannon, have three children, Makenzie (16), Kendall (6) and Braden (3).
Rand is beginning her second year in the Counselor Education graduate program at Clemson, but her first as Clemson volleyball’s Graduate Assistant Director of Operations. In 2014-15, she served as Clemson’s Director of Student-Athlete Community Engagement.
Rand played one season as a professional, from Aug. 2013 to May 2014, for EVS in Angelholm, which plays in the top volleyball league in Sweden. That season, her team placed third in the league, and Rand was named Most Efficient Attacker after recording the best hitting percentage among all players in the league.
The native of Mentor, Ohio was a star middle blocker for the Tigers from 2009-12. She earned All-ACC and AVCA All-Region honors as a junior in 2011 and ACC All-Freshman honors as a rookie in 2009, and was a three-time member of the All-ACC Academic team from 2010-12. Rand concluded her Clemson career with 822 kills and 614 total blocks. The 614 blocks rank second in Clemson history, and she also ranks second in block assists (517) and blocks per set (1.34) and third in career hitting percentage (.334). She recorded 157 blocks as a freshman in 2009, breaking the school record for blocks in a single season by a freshman. Rand earned her undergraduate degree from Clemson in Special Education in August of 2013.
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