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The seven-year plan: Inside the boom of Auburn volleyball


aubiefifty
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oanow.com
 

The seven-year plan: Inside the boom of Auburn volleyball

JUSTIN LEE jlee@oanow.com
15-19 minutes

Akasha Anderson was home near D.C. when she got the call.

Her phone had been ringing all day, but this one call stood out in particular. It was June 15, 2020: the first day under new NCAA rules that she and other junior prospects across the country were allowed to be contacted by college coaches. Anderson had been targeted by schools all around the nation. She was a touted talent, coveted by programs in volleyball hotspots coast to coast, and she was on her way to soon winning Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia. But this was the first time she got a call from Auburn. Auburn?

Across the country, in a Chicago suburb, Sarah Morton was juggling calls when the same number lit up her phone. Auburn?

Outside Kansas City, Bel Zimmerman got the same curious call. Auburn?

Auburn?

 

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Fast forward to today and Auburn — yes, Auburn — is 17-2 on the season, undefeated at home, and 6-2 in the SEC near the top of the league standings. Anderson has fired 281 kills, good for top 10 in the SEC; Morton has picked up 311 digs, good for third-best per-set in the conference; Zimmerman says it’s “so fun,” between exciting wins. “We really are a family here.”

Auburn is putting together a breakthrough season with six freshmen starting, who were all part of Brent Crouch’s first complete signing class as head coach at Auburn.

It was Crouch on the other end of all those phone calls on the first day of the contact period, the man who’d turned heads by walking away from the head coaching job at USC to go to afterthought Auburn — and all of those conversations could’ve started the same way: ‘I just left USC to coach at Auburn. Have you ever thought about playing volleyball at Auburn before?’

If that’s how he really opened a call, the players would’ve answered simply, and almost invariably, ‘No I haven’t.’

But there was more to the pitch. There are resources at Auburn, Crouch could explain, amid the riches of the SEC. It’s a sleeping giant. There are facilities here, there’s opportunity here, and there’s a certain small-town charm. And there’s a plan. Crouch had a plan.

Crouch had only been on campus for a few months and, at the time in June 2020, COVID-19 had shut the world down, but Crouch had devised and mapped out a seven-year plan for Auburn volleyball.

It started with this particular recruiting class, and it ended with the Tigers competing for the national championship.

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1 hour ago, aubiefifty said:
oanow.com
 

The seven-year plan: Inside the boom of Auburn volleyball

JUSTIN LEE jlee@oanow.com
15-19 minutes

Akasha Anderson was home near D.C. when she got the call.

Her phone had been ringing all day, but this one call stood out in particular. It was June 15, 2020: the first day under new NCAA rules that she and other junior prospects across the country were allowed to be contacted by college coaches. Anderson had been targeted by schools all around the nation. She was a touted talent, coveted by programs in volleyball hotspots coast to coast, and she was on her way to soon winning Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia. But this was the first time she got a call from Auburn. Auburn?

Across the country, in a Chicago suburb, Sarah Morton was juggling calls when the same number lit up her phone. Auburn?

Outside Kansas City, Bel Zimmerman got the same curious call. Auburn?

Auburn?

 

People are also reading…

 

Fast forward to today and Auburn — yes, Auburn — is 17-2 on the season, undefeated at home, and 6-2 in the SEC near the top of the league standings. Anderson has fired 281 kills, good for top 10 in the SEC; Morton has picked up 311 digs, good for third-best per-set in the conference; Zimmerman says it’s “so fun,” between exciting wins. “We really are a family here.”

Auburn is putting together a breakthrough season with six freshmen starting, who were all part of Brent Crouch’s first complete signing class as head coach at Auburn.

It was Crouch on the other end of all those phone calls on the first day of the contact period, the man who’d turned heads by walking away from the head coaching job at USC to go to afterthought Auburn — and all of those conversations could’ve started the same way: ‘I just left USC to coach at Auburn. Have you ever thought about playing volleyball at Auburn before?’

If that’s how he really opened a call, the players would’ve answered simply, and almost invariably, ‘No I haven’t.’

But there was more to the pitch. There are resources at Auburn, Crouch could explain, amid the riches of the SEC. It’s a sleeping giant. There are facilities here, there’s opportunity here, and there’s a certain small-town charm. And there’s a plan. Crouch had a plan.

Crouch had only been on campus for a few months and, at the time in June 2020, COVID-19 had shut the world down, but Crouch had devised and mapped out a seven-year plan for Auburn volleyball.

It started with this particular recruiting class, and it ended with the Tigers competing for the national championship.

 

Awesome Coach and his Philosophy, I really do believe  and buy into is 7 year approach and believe that success will come.

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