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Camp Staff

Matt Ginipro

Matt Ginipro

Title: Head Coach

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Matt Ginipro became the eighth volleyball head coach in Appalachian State University volleyball history on June 2, 2007 and has seen a vast amount of success in his nine seasons in the High Country, including a successful transition to the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.

During his tenure with the Mountaineers, he has posted 148 victories, including 60 in Southern Conference play and 24 in two Sun Belt Conference seasons – Ginipro has won the fourth-highest number of matches in Appalachian State coaching history.

Coming off of a stellar 2014 season, Ginipro guided the Mountaineers to an ultra-impressive 2015 campaign that saw the program soar to 22 victories and finish second in league play during the regular season. Throughout the year, App State matched its program record 16-match winning streak - finishing with 22 victories, including 13 in conference play.

After posting 21 wins in 2014, the back-to-back 20-win campaigns were the first since the 2005-06 seasons. Taking the program to new heights in 2015 also brought many individual accomplishments. Senior outside hitter Jess Keller was named Sun Belt Offensive Student-Athlete of the Year, while senior Emily Corrigan and junior Ashton Gregory - along with Keller - earned first team all-conference honors.

Corrigan will finish second all time in career kills with 1,399 and Keller ended up cracking the top ten and sits 10th with 1,210. Senior setter Paige Brown recorded a career-high 65 assists in her final match and ended her career as the all time program assist leader with 4,478. Senior libero Meghan Mahoney also finished her career atop the Mountaineer record books and finished second in career digs with 1,855.

The 2014 season was an historic one for the Mountaineers. App state opened the season with 13 consecutive victories, including a top-25 win over a 24th ranked Louisville Cardinal opponent en route to a tournament win at Louisville. Appalachian finished 21-10 overall, it’s best finish under Ginipro, while also finished 11-9 in the Sun Belt Conference. Setter Paige Brown won Sun Belt Setter of the Year after earning Setter of the Week six times. Emily Corrigan earned a first-team all-conference nod after leading the Apps in kills and earning Offensive Player of the Week three times.

The Mountaineers reached the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament three times during Ginipro’s tenure, most recently in 2013 (the program's last in the SoCon) when the squad finished 19-13 and 9-7 in league play. He has coached seven players to all-SoCon honors and saw one of his student-athletes, Brittany Zahn, named as the 2007 SoCon Player of the Year.

In just his first year at the helm, Ginipro earned SoCon Coach of the Year honors for guiding his squad to a 14-4 league record and an appearance in the semifinal round of the 2007 SoCon Tournament.

During his time in the High Country, Ginipro has seen two of his players set school records. Dianna Thomas ended her career as Appalachian’s all-time kills leader in 2007 while Courtney Rhein broke the school record for digs during the 2012 season.

His program’s efforts have not gone unnoticed on the recruiting trail either, as his 2010, 2011 and 2013 recruiting classes were ranked among one of the nation’s best, earning an honorable mention among top recruiting classes in the country from PrepVolleyball.com.

In addition to his team’s success on the court, Ginipro’s squads have been highly successful in the classroom. During his tenure, Ginipro has seen two players (Dianna Thomas and Maggie Seeds) earn first-team Capital One/CoSIDA academic all-district honors.

Ginipro arrived in Boone with 12 years of collegiate coaching experience under his belt after serving as the first assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Virginia for six years. In March of 2007, he was promoted to associate head coach at UVa. At Virginia, Ginipro was responsible for coaching the Cavaliers’ setters and outside hitters and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. During his six seasons at UVa., the team went a combined 105-82 and posted 19-plus win seasons in his final four years. His 2006 squad finished second in the ACC with a school-record 16 conference wins at 16-6 and posted a 23-8 overall record as Ginipro’s 2007 recruiting class earned Highest Honorable Mention ranking from PrepVolleyball.com.

Ginipro joined the Virginia coaching staff in May of 2001 after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Mississippi during the 2000 season. At Mississippi, Ginipro was responsible for coaching the outside hitters and primary passers, as well as serving as the recruiting coordinator. He helped Ole Miss earn one of eight spots in the SEC tournament after the team won only one conference match during the 1999 season.

Prior to coaching at Ole Miss, Ginipro spent four years as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, serving as the first assistant coach for the 1997, 1998 and 1999 seasons. His duties included coaching the setters, right-side hitters, recruiting and coordinating the team’s offense.

Ginipro graduated from Virginia Tech in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. He earned a master’s in counselor education from Radford in 1996. Ginipro was a member of Virginia Tech’s men’s club volleyball team and served as captain and coach for three seasons. He helped lead the Hokies to the 1992 and 1993 Collegiate Club Championships as the starting setter.

A native of Smithtown, N.Y., Ginipro is married to the former Roxanne Furey of Blacksburg, Va. The couple has two children, Kirsten Nicole and Nicholas Kyle.

Chad Willis

Chad Willis

Title: Associate Head Coach

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Chad Willis enters his fourth season on head coach Matt Ginipro’s staff after helping guide the Apps to 40 wins over the previous two seasons. Willis joined the Appalachian State volleyball coaching staff as the associate head coach following the 2012 season after spending eight years at Wake Forest.

On the court Willis is primarilty in charge of training the setters and coordinating the Mountaineer offense. In his first three seasons, the Black and Gold have seen tremendous growth offensively.  Willis also serves as Appalachian’s recruiting coordinator. With a solid network of contacts across the country, the Mountaineers have landed talented student-athletes the last three seasons, including the 2015 class being tabbed by PrepVolleyball as honorable mention for the nation’s top recruiting class.

Willis was instrumental in a successful transition for Appalachian into he Sun Belt Conference, helping to guide the Mountaineers to a 21-10 record in 2014, including the stellar 22-8 campaign in 2015. 

For the 2015 season, the Black and Gold led the conference in kills per set (14.66), assists per set (13.76) and posted the highest team hitting percentage (.272). Paige Brown, Emily Corrigan, Jess Keller and Ashton Gregory wrapped up tremendous offensive seasons by being named as all-conference selections, including Keller being named the Sun Belt Offensive Student-Athlete of the Year. Keller led the league with 507 kills and 4.57 kills per set en route to her Player of the Year honor. She also cracked the top ten list of career kills and ranks ninth with 1,210. Corrigan finished the season with 411 kills and now ranks second all-time on the career kills list with 1,399. 

Under Willis’ tutelege, Brown finished up her career as one of the best to ever wear the Black and Gold, amassing a program record 4,478 assists.

In 2014, the team led the conference in kills per set (13.72), assists per set (13.18) and posted the fourth highest team hitting percetange (.217). Emily Corrigan, Paige Brown and Lauren Gray capped off great offensive seasons by being voted to the Sun Belt all-conference team. Willis guided Brown to a stellar season that saw the rising senior finish the year atop the conference and third in the nation with 11.72 assists per set. Brown also set a conference record being named Sun Belt Setter of the Week an unprecedented six times en route to her earning Sun Belt Setter of the Year. 

In 2013, Appalachian capped off a 19-13 campaign and finished fourth in the Southern Conference in kills per set (13.39), assists per set (12.53) and team hitting percentage (.233). Paige Brown tallied 11.22 assists per set and finished the season ranked second in the SoCon in assists.

Willis came to the High Country after spending eight seasons in nearby Winston-Salem where he served as an assistant coach for the Demon Deacons before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2012 campaign. In addition, Willis served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and assistant camp director.

During his time at Wake Forest, Willis was primarily responsible for coaching the setters and coordinating offensive systems and coached two all-ACC setters in Erin Borhart and Kelsey Jones. In addition, he was part of a staff that led the Demon Deacons to a school-record-tying 10 ACC wins in 2005.

Prior to his time at Wake Forest, Willis spent one season as an assistant coach at Southern Conference rival Elon, where he helped lead the Phoenix to a 19-14 record and coached second team all-SoCon outside hitter Emily Hayes.

Willis has also served as the head coach for women’s club volleyball at James Madison while spending two seasons as a student assistant coach for the Dukes varsity women’s program, where he was part of a staff that led JMU to a Colonial Athletic Association title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000.

A 2005 graduate of James Madison, Willis was the starting setter for JMU’s men’s club volleyball team where he helped lead his squad to three top-10 finishes at the national tournament while earning All-America honors twice.

Chad resides in Boone with his wife, Caroline (former libero at North Carolina) and their two children, Aidan (3) and Maddie Grace (nine months).

Taylor Sherwin

Taylor Sherwin

Title: Assistant Coach

On Friday, May 6, Taylor Sherwin was hired as Appalachian State University volleyball assistant coach.

“I’m very happy to add Taylor to our staff,” said Ginipro. “Her playing and coaching experience will be an excellent addition to our team. She was a setter in the toughest league in the country and led Ohio State to a Sweet 16 appearance her senior year, so she knows what it takes to succeed at a high level as a player. This past year, she was on the bench of a program that made it to the national semifinals and got to learn from a head coach who has won two Olympic medals.”

Ginipro continued, “I know our players are going to love being coached by someone with Taylor’s background and can’t wait to get her in the gym with the team this August for preseason.”

“I am extremely excited to join the App State volleyball family and I want to thank Matt, Chad and the team for this great opportunity,” said Sherwin. “This group is a hard working program that has a clear vision of where they want to be and I can’t wait to join them in this journey.”

Before coming to the High Country, Sherwin spent the past season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Minnesota. With Sherwin on staff, the Golden Gophers finished the 2015 campaign with a 30-5 overall record, including a nearly-perfect 18-2 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Minnesota made it all the way to the National Semifinal where they dropped a four-set match to the eventual National Runner-Up Texas Longhorns.

In her time at Minnesota, Sherwin had the ability to learn under the Golden Gophers’ head coach Hugh McCutcheon, a former head coach of the United States men’s national volleyball team and the United States women’s volleyball team. In the 2008 Olympics, McCutcheon led the men’s national team to a gold medal, defeating Brazil. At the 2012 Olympics, McCutcheon led the women’s team to a silver medal, losing in four sets to Brazil.

Prior to her arrival in Minneapolis, Sherwin completed a four-year playing career at Ohio State University. In her final year with the Buckeyes, Sherwin was a 2014 AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-America honorable mention after a Sweet 16 NCAA run. As an All-Big Ten honorable mention, Sherwin averaged 10.96 assists per set in conference play, which ranked fourth in the Big Ten.

During her senior campaign, she racked up 1,375 assists (12th-most all-time at OSU). The setter was selected as the Big Ten Setter of the Week twice in 2014 and four times in her career. Her 3,624 career assists rank fifth all-time at Ohio State. During her time in Columbus, Sherwin was a three-time captain and most valuable player.

Sherwin began her coaching career immediately after with Mintonette Sports in 2015. She led and coached the 18-1s club team, where she coordinated the team’s training, team travel and implemented practice plans.

Sherwin graduated from Ohio State in 2015 with a degree in speech and hearing communications.

 
 
 
 
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