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JSU volleyball: Former Mercer, Samford head coach comes aboard to take over program

May 6—Jacksonville State has a new volleyball coach, and he's got a tall task in front of him.

Derek Schroeder will take over the program after spending the previous six seasons as Mercer's head coach. He also was head coach at Samford during 2008-15.

He resigned from Mercer on March 21, which was about six weeks after Todd Garvey resigned from Jax State to return home to Indianapolis for family reasons. Garvey is now the head coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Schroeder inherits a program that thrived in five seasons under Garvey, who posted a 103-39 record in his five seasons at JSU and won two Ohio Valley Conference regular-season titles. However, the current JSU roster lists only eight players, including six who were part of the team last season. Only one played regularly — junior Brooklyn Schiffli, a defensive specialist.

"When looking for a head coach to carry our volleyball program into Conference USA, we couldn't have found a better candidate than Derek," JSU athletics director Greg Seitz said. "He has had a great deal of success at each of his prior coaching stops and we're excited to see how he can build upon the success that we became accustomed to that last five years under Todd and his staff."

Schroeder, a native of Canada, has a 250-179 career record, which includes 169 wins at Samford and 81 at Mercer. He won back-to-back Southern Conference regular-season titles at Mercer in 2020 and 2021, the first two SoCon championships in program history. At Samford, he won the SoCon North Division title in his first season in 2008 before claiming the SoCon championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament in 2011 and 2014.

He will coach both the indoor and beach volleyball programs.

"Greg Seitz, Greg Bonds and the Jax State administration have been so great and patient through this entire process," Schroeder said. "I plan to repay that patience with a ton of hard work and tenacity to keep JSU volleyball on the successful path it has been on. Jenna and I are very excited to be a part of JSU and a part of this community. We hope to have many years of success and happiness here in Jacksonville."

Schroeder is a native of Wheatley, Ontario, Canada, and a 1998 graduate of the University of Windsor, where he earned his bachelor's degree in human kinetics.

He was an assistant coach at Furman (2003-06) and St. Louis (2007) before taking over the Samford program.

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.