Beth Donnelly is the new head women’s volleyball coach at Morningside.

Beth Donnelly has been named the new head women’s volleyball coach at Morningside College announced Mustangs’ athletic director Tim Jager.

Donnelly has been the head coach for the past 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.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce Beth Donnelly as our women’s volleyball coach,” Jager said. “Her passion for the game, coupled with her desire to develop student-athletes while providing a great college experience makes her a great fit for Morningside. I am excited to see the program thrive under her leadership.”

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.

She inherits a Morningside team that posted a 15-17 record this past season. The Mustangs finished 12-17 in 2013 to end a streak of 12 consecutive winning seasons. Morningside qualified for the NAIA National Tournament four times between 2008 and 2012, won Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season championships in 2007 and 2011, and won GPAC Post-Season Tournament titles in 2007, 2008, and 2011.

Donnelly said she hopes to return the Mustangs to their past level of excellence.

“We played against Morningside when I was coaching at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, so I’ve always had a lot or respect for both the Morningside volleyball program and the GPAC,” Donnelly said. “You know that any team in the GPAC will be highly competitive. My goal is to uphold the strong volleyball tradition that has been at Morningside for a long time.” 

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.