Mustang Coaching Staff
Head Coach Beth Donnelly
Beth Donnelly was named Morningside's head women's volleyball coach on Dec. 19, 2014.
Donnelly had been the head coach for the the previous five seasons at Olympic College, a two-year public college based in Bremerton, Wash. She replaces former Morningside head coach Sara Horn, who resigned following the completion of the 2014 season.
Donnelly compiled a 134-67 record at Olympic, including a 109-25 mark for a .813 winning percentage over the last three seasons. This past season she guided the Lady Rangers to a 31-8 record, the Northern Region championship with a perfect 12-0 record, and a third place finish at the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Tournament.
Donnelly was named the Northern Region Coach of the Year each of the past four seasons and was the NWAC Coach of the Year in 2013.
When she began her coaching career at Olympic, Donnelly took over a struggling volleyball program that had produced an average of only four victories a season from 2007-09. Donnelly’s first team at Olympic posted a 12-22 record in the 2010 campaign. The Lady Rangers finished 13-20 in 2011 and made their first appearance in the NWAC Tournament since 2005.
Donnelly led Olympic to a 32-11 record and the Northern Region co-championship in 2012. Donnelly guided Olympic to its most successful season in school history during the 2013 campaign when the Lady Rangers went 46-6, finished first in the Northern Region, and were the runner-up at the NWAC Tournament.
Donnelly was previously the head volleyball coach and assistant track & field coach at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology from 2006-08. She had a 35-22 record in two seasons as the Lady Hardrockers’ volleyball coach, including a 23-6 mark in 2007 to match the program’s second highest victory total over the past 20 seasons from 1995 to 2014.
Donnelly is a 2004 graduate of Northern Michigan University, where she was a four-year letterwinner as an outside hitter for the NCAA Division II school. She helped lead the Wildcats to a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and a NCAA II Regional championship.
She received a master’s degree in exercise science from Northern Michigan in 2006.
Assistant Coach Leah Nielsen
Leah Nielsen joined the Mustangs’ coaching staff in February 2015. Nielsen is a 2012 Morningside graduate and was a four-year letterwinner for the Mustangs’ volleyball team.
Nielsen is also mathematics teacher at Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School, where she was the Warriors’ head volleyball coach from 2012-14. She had a 66-55 record in her three seasons at Sergeant Bluff-Luton. Nielsen led the Warriors to a second place finish in the 2014 Missouri River Activities Conference Tournament for their highest finish ever in the event.
She helped lead the Mustangs to a 112-40 record and three NAIA National Tournament appearances during her four-year playing career. She was co-captain of the Mustangs’ 2011 GPAC championship team and was a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. Nielsen was also a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete for the Mustangs’ track & field team.
Nielsen was the 2012 female recipient of the Robert “Bob” Miller Academic Student-Athlete of the Year Awards, presented in Miller’s memory by his family to the senior male and female student-athletes who demonstrated outstanding academic and athletic performances during their Morningside careers.