MU volleyball’s Jacobs announces retirement from Division I coaching

November 17, 2018

HUNTINGTON - Mitch Jacobs is retiring from coaching NCAA Division I volleyball teams, which included the last 17 years as Marshall University’s head coach.

Jacobs made the announcement Thursday, one day before the Conference USA championships begin at Marshall, but without the Thundering Herd in the tournament. Marshall finished 10th in the conference regular season and isn’t one of the eight teams playing for the championship.

“The first person that I have to thank for enjoying a 26-year career is my wife, Laura,” Jacobs said in a HerdZone.com release. “We have two amazing kids that she has raised, practically on her own. I want to thank (Athletic Director) Mike Hamrick. He has shown confidence in me and, to be honest, over the last 10 years I haven’t performed to the level that I had achieved in earlier years. This is solely on myself, and his support for me has just meant the world.

“I’ve only worked for one senior woman administrator at this university, and I can say that I absolutely love my boss, Beatrice Crane Banford. Beatrice has been more than my supervisor, she’s been everything to me throughout my career at Marshall. I can’t thank her enough for that.

“Bob Marcum (former athletic director) is truly one of the greatest people in my life. He showed me that there is no limitation and has stayed in my corner throughout my entire time at Marshall.

“Jeff O’Malley and David Steele (athletic department administrators) are two of the finest individuals and friends. And that’s what Marshall has always been - people. I’ve gotten to work with the greatest, including someone I truly miss, (late school president) Dr. Stephen Kopp. That was just a blessing.”

Jacobs, a native of Morton Grove, Illinois, finished with a career record of 480-347 that includes three seasons as the head coach of Fairfield University and six more at NCAA Division II Florida Tech. He led the Fairfield Stags to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and finished his career with the Florida Tech Panthers as the school’s all-time leader in coaching victories.

Hamrick thanked Jacobs for his service and said he respected the very challenging decision the coach made.

Jacobs compiled a 298-236 record at Marshall with a C-USA title and NCAA appearance in 2005) and a conference regular-season crown in 2007. He is the school’s all-time leader in volleyball coaching victories.

“I feel blessed that I was able to make a career out of a sport for which I have so much passion,” Jacobs said. “In 26 years as a college coach, I have met and been a part of so many outstanding young women’s lives. I want to thank all of them for making this unbelievably stressful job worth waking up for every morning. Over the last two years, I just haven’t had that same drive and passion, and that’s not fair to the young women in this program now. It’s not just time for me to step down from being Marshall’s head coach. It’s time for me to retire from Division I volleyball and find a new path.

“I could never be grateful enough to this community of Huntington, West Virginia, for just allowing myself and my family to feel so welcome. ...

“The stability that my wife, Laura, and I have had raising our family in Huntington, West Virginia, has been immeasurable. The community of volleyball in this area is just thriving at the younger ages. As long as I live here, I’ll always be committed to the River Cities Thunder (volleyball club program) and, always, a fan of Marshall. Go Herd.”

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