EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -Former University of Southern Indiana student athlete Randi Raff ’05 has been selected to lead the USI Volleyball program in an announcement by the USI Department of Athletics Monday afternoon. Raff becomes the 12th head coach in program history.
“I am beyond excited and deeply humbled at the opportunity to come home to USI.” Raff said. "I’d like to thank (USI Director of Athletics) Jon Mark Hall for placing his faith in me and believing in my vision for the future of USI Volleyball.
"After visiting campus, it’s clear the University and the Athletic Department are bound for even more great things.” Raff continued. “It is truly a special place. Everything from the committed and tight knit community of coaches, staff and players to the top notch facilities made saying ‘yes’ one of the easiest decisions of my life. It feels good to be a Screaming Eagle again!”
“We are thrilled to have Randi coming back to USI to be our head volleyball coach,” Hall said. "She has playing or coaching experience at the Division I, II and III levels and we feel like those vast experiences will help her become a very successful head coach. She is very driven to succeed and to make sure that the young women in our program have a great experience at USI.
“I would like to thank Assistant Director of Athletics, Mandi Fulton, and our entire search committee on their efforts to bring us such a strong candidate pool,” Hall continued.
Raff, who played volleyball at USI in 2001, 2003 and 2004, returns to the Screaming Eagles after spending the previous three seasons at Georgia Tech, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
At Georgia Tech, Raff assisted in putting together the Highest Honorable Mention recruiting classes in 2017 and 2018 per Prepvolleyball.com and helped the Yellow Jackets to their most victories in 12 years as they posted a 24-8 overall record and a 15-5 mark in ACC play in 2016.
Raff also coached two first-team All-ACC players as well as one honorable mention All-American and ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year. She coordinated and organized all recruiting activities, including identification of prospects as well as establishing and maintaining day-to-day communications.
Prior to Georgia Tech, Raff spent the 2015 season as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Indiana after spending three seasons at Northern Kentucky University as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
During her time with Northern Kentucky, Raff helped the Norse to a 56-37 (.602) record in its first three years of NCAA Division I play, including the best start to any first-year Division I program (12-1 in 2012). She served as acting head coach for the program’s first-ever NCAA Division I post-season win, which came during the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament—she filled in for Liz (Holmes) Hart, who was expecting the birth of her first child.
Prior to NKU, Raff spent two seasons at Division III Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. She helped lead the Captains to back-to-back 38-win seasons, including a national runner-up finish in 2011.
Raff was honored with the 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association 30 under 30 award, which recognizes young up-and-coming coaches among all NCAA divisions in both men’s and women’s volleyball.
A native of Rensselaer, Indiana, Raff also served as an assistant coach for two seasons at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, prior to her stint with Christopher Newport.
Raff broke into coaching as a graduate assistant strength and condition coach at Purdue University from 2005-07. She was the Head Junior Varsity Coach/Assistant Varsity Coach at Mt. Vernon High School in 2007 before brief volunteer stints with USI and former GLVC member Saint Joseph’s College in the spring of 2008. She was the Head Coach of the 16-2′s team for the Pursuit Volleyball Club in Jackson, Missouri, from 2008-09.
Raff was a team captain for the Eagles' 2004 GLVC championship squad that posted a 15-1 record in league play en route to their second NCAA II Tournament appearance in three seasons. She earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from USI in May 2005 before earning a master’s degree in pedagogy and administration from Purdue in 2007.
Courtesy: USI Athletics