Belmont University Director of Athletics Mike Strickland Monday named Tony Howell the fourth head volleyball coach in program history in a statement released by Belmont Athletics.
“We are delighted to announce that Tony has accepted our offer to lead our volleyball program,” Strickland said. “Few, if any, embody the values and ideals of Belmont University better than Tony. His passion for the game and dedication to our student-athletes are inarguable. Tony has been at the heart of our greatest successes as a volleyball program, and we look forward to building upon that tradition under his leadership.”
With two decades of experience in college and club volleyball, Howell spent eight seasons as the Bruins’ top assistant coach. During that time, Belmont has gone 167-92 – including 83-28 in conference matches – earning three NCAA Tournament appearances (2006, 2008, 2012), three conference tournament championships, and one conference regular season championship.
Charged with tremendous responsibility in training and during matches, Howell led the Bruins’ nationally-ranked service game, as well as training outside hitters, managing video and scouting components, and team defense.
Five times in the last decade, Belmont has ranked in the top 10 nationally in service aces per set, including third on three separate occasions under Howell’s leadership.
While at Belmont, Howell has coached 33 all-conference selections, including conference players of the year Colleen Nilson, Maggie Johnson and Allison McCoy. Nilson became the first Belmont student-athlete of the program’s NCAA era named first team all-conference four consecutive years. Nilson, Johnson, and Kayla Albritton also earned AVCA All-South Region honors.
In 2007, Howell accompanied Senior Woman Administrator emeritus Betty Wiseman on volleyball’s Sports Evangelism mission trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Howell spent two seasons at Tennessee State, helping the Tiger program double its win total from nine to 18.
Prior to Belmont, Howell served as Facility Director at the Advantage Sports Center, overseeing one of the top club teams in the state of Texas. Howell led Texas Advantage Volleyball to USAV junior nationals in 2001 and 2004. In particular, his 2004 squad qualified for junior nationals in three national qualifiers and captured the championship at the Lonestar Qualifier.
Howell spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, managing the program’s recruiting, scheduling, travel, budget, scouting and statistics. He remained a club coach while with the Rams until 2000.
Howell began his coaching career in 1994 as an undergraduate at the University of North Texas. Howell spent two seasons with the Mean Green, helping the program secure its first-ever Southland Conference championship. He also forged strong club ties, directing the 15-17 age division for Team North Texas.
Howell replaces Deane Webb, who accepted a head coaching position for the Ohio Bobcats in February.