GREENVILLE, Pa.—Kelly Barzak ‘13 has been named the head coach of the Thiel College women’s volleyball team, as announced by Director of Athletics Jack Leipheimer ‘74.
Barzak was a two-sport star at Thiel, earning numerous awards in volleyball and basketball throughout her career. She was also an award-winner in the classroom and in leadership roles during her collegiate career.
“We are very happy to welcome Kelly Barzak back to the Thiel College community,” Leipheimer said. “She had a tremendous career at Thiel as a student and two-sport athlete. We believe Kelly has the knowledge, skills, experience and leadership to direct our women’s volleyball team.”
“I am extremely excited about returning to Thiel College,” Barzak said. “It is a great college that constantly strides to develop its athletics department. I understand the desire that the players have to win, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead them to success.”
Barzak spent the last 10 months at Muskingum University, where she served as the women’s volleyball team’s graduate assistant while pursuing a master’s degree in education. She assisted in daily operations of Muskingum’s women’s volleyball team, which included administrative, player development and recruiting duties.
Barzak served as a tutor and study table administrator for Muskingum’s women’s volleyball team, scouted opponents and organized travel plans. She assisted in planning practices and coordinated game film breakdown using Hudl software. She also assisted in the recruitment of student-athletes through personal correspondence, planning campus visits and utilization of Front Rush, cloud-based recruiting software for college coaches.
Prior to her time at Muskingum, Barzak served as head coach for Club Gold South 16U in New Concord, Ohio for five months in 2013. She also worked Volleyball Spike Fest in July of 2013 and multiple basketball camps from 2010-12.
Barzak was a four-year letter winner and starter for Thiel’s volleyball and basketball teams. She left as Thiel’s all-time women’s volleyball leader in kills (1,292) and blocks (449). She was also the 12th player in Thiel women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points, finishing her career as the program’s third all-time leading scorer (1,401).
Barzak was a four-time All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) First Team volleyball selection as well as a four-time All-PAC basketball honoree. During her senior season, she became the first Thiel women’s basketball player to be named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team in volleyball, as selected by CoSIDA.
Barzak graduated Summa Cum Laude from Thiel and served as her senior class commencement speaker. She was named to the Dean’s List eight times, earning the Dean’s Key. Barzak was a member of Alpha Chi, Les Lauriers, Lambda Sigma, Kappa Delta Pi and Chi Alpha Sigma honoraries. She also served as the president of Thiel’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and her senior class vice president.
Barzak takes over Thiel’s women’s volleyball program, which is two years removed from a berth in the championship match of the PAC Championship Tournament. “I am really looking forward to building Thiel’s women’s volleyball program,” Barzak said. “Winning a PAC championship is extremely important to us, but once these students-athletes leave Thiel I also want them to be proud to have been Tomcats and equipped with an exceptional education.”
About Thiel College
Founded in 1866, Thiel College is an independent Lutheran liberal arts, sciences and professional studies institution located on a 135-acre campus in Greenville, Pa. Committed to combining the best of the liberal arts tradition with career and life skills, the Thiel College faculty offers a high quality undergraduate education to more than 1,000 students across more than 60 majors and minors in 19 discipline areas that inspire, challenge and prepare students to succeed.