SCC Names Crider New Volleyball Coach
Volleyball has always been a part of Tabitha Crider's life, a game that she lived and breathed since the age of 10.
As a 5-4 defensive specialist at Penn State (2001-04), Crider played in every game and was an intergral part of two Big Ten Conference championship teams. She was a four-year member of the Big Ten all-academic team, and won the conference's sportsmanship award as a senior.
But Crider, who was a standout player for Greencastle-Antrim High School in Pennsylvania, left behind the game she loved when she graduated from college in 2004, opting for a career in health and fitness.
Crider, an exercise technologist at First Health in Pinehurst, is back in the game she loves. She has been named the new volleyball coach for Sandhills Community College.
When (SCC athletic director) Aaron Denton contacted me I was immediately interested," Crider said. "I missed the sport and wanted to get back involved with it."
SCC reinstated intercollegiate athletics earlier this year after nearly 30 years. Volleyball will be the first of several sports that will be phased in over the next few years. The team begins play this October.
Denton said he thinks Crider is the perfect fit for the new program.
"First thing that catches your eye is her experience," Denton said.
"Anybody who has worked with her just has nothing but great things to say. We got someone with great experience, someone who works well with others and who really wants the job. She wants to start the program and see it be successful. I think it will be a great fit."
Starting a program is not easy. Crider is learning that firsthand. The former defensive specialist at Penn State is busy making contacts with local high school and club team coaches, recruiting players, finding a volunteer assistant, and getting ready for a season that begins in mid-August.
"We have maybe four or five people who are legitimately interested and you need six on a volleyball court at one time, so I have quite a ways to go in terms of getting girls to come out and play."
Crider will host a tryout Saturday, and encouraged any player interested in playing at SCC to come to the tryout, or contact her at tcrider@first health.org for more information. A list of tryouts for volleyball and men's basketball is on the college's website at www.sandhills.edu/athletics/index.html. Then click on the link to the sport you are interested in.
Crider, the oldest of five siblings, said she will have high expectations of herself, her players and the program, but not at the expense of enjoying the game.
"Volleyball has had such an impact on on my life, and if it can have an impact on someone else's life then I want to be a part of that," Crider said.
Sandhills, which is a two-year school that doesn't offer athletic scholarships, recently unveiled its logo and team name. The Flyers will compete in the North Carolina Community College League. It is in Region X and will compete against teams from two-year colleges in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2477 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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