ATLANTA -- A former Division I head coach with a championship background, Sally Polhamus has been hired to guide the Georgia State volleyball program, Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick announced Friday.  Polhamus most recently served three years as an assistant coach for the nationally ranked Florida volleyball program, helping the Gators to three consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

“I am excited to announce the hiring of Sally Polhamus to build a championship volleyball team at Georgia State University,” Levick said. “She has previously won a conference title as a head coach and understands what it will take to win in the Sun Belt. Her recruiting experience at the highest levels of collegiate volleyball will be a strength for this program. We welcome her to the Panther family.”

Polhamus relishes the chance to not only return to Atlanta, but to help usher in a winning era of Georgia State volleyball. 

“I want to thank Director of Athletics Cheryl Levick and Georgia State President Mark Becker for their support as we begin the next chapter in Georgia State volleyball,” Polhamus said. “There is so much excitement surrounding the Georgia State program, athletic department, university and all academic areas that it is hard not to feel the energy when you talk about the future. We are excited to become a part of the Georgia State family in our return to Atlanta and look forward to continuing to build on the championship momentum.”

Polhamus served three years as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Gators and head coach Mary Wise. Polhamus helped Florida rank second in the nation in hitting percentage (.331) this fall, one of only five teams nationally to hit better than .300 for the year. It was the third consecutive season the Gators ranked in the top five under Polhamus, as they were fourth (.298) in 2012 and lead the nation (.309) in 2011.

Polhamus’ pupils have excelled at the highest levels, including outside hitters who earned two All-America awards and national freshman-of-the-year honors. A Gator led the nation twice in the past three years (and finished in the top five the other year) in hitting percentage, including setting school record at .500 or better in 2011 and 2013.

Three players Polhamus recruited for the 2014 class were ranked among the top 60 nationally, including No. 3, No. 16 and No. 52. Two of the recruits also earned their state’s Gatorade Player-of-the-Year award.

Prior to joining the Gators, Polhamus was head coach at Winthrop for four seasons (2007 to 2011), earning a 64-59 overall record while winning a conference championship. Her teams went 39-21 in conference play and took home a share of the Big South title in 2007. Twice under Polhamus an Eagle was named league player of the year. Her career mark of 64 victories ranks third in Winthrop history.

In her first coaching stint in Atlanta, Polhamus served as an assistant at Georgia Tech from 2002 to 2006. During that span, she helped the Yellow Jackets to three NCAA tournament bids, including an appearance in the 2003 regional final and a spot in the 2004 regional semifinals. Georgia Tech won two ACC regular-season titles (2003, 2004) and an ACC Championship crown (2002) with Polhamus on the bench.  Two Georgia Tech outside hitters earned All-America honors under Polhamus, including three-time All-American Lynnette Moster. 

On the recruiting trail, Polhamus annually brought top recruiting classes to Atlanta, including her 2004 class that ranked as high as No. 8 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com.

Polhamus lettered four years at Xavier from 1993 to 1996, earning all-league honors all four years. She finished her career as the school’s all-time leader in kills (1,749) and was second in digs (1,338). She was inducted into the Xavier Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

Polhamus earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Xavier in 1997. She went on to receive a master’s degree in educational administration from Dayton in 1999, where she also served three years (1997-99) as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Polhamus then spent two years as assistant coach at Indiana (2000-01) before coming to Atlanta.

A native of Fort Wright, Ky., the former Sally Schulte is married to Stephen Polhamus.

 

Polhamus at a Glance

Hometown: Fort Wright, Ky.

Family: Husband, Stephen

Education
· Bachelor’s in Health and Physical Education, Xavier (1997)

· Master’s in Educational Administration, Dayton (1999)

Playing Career: Xavier, 1993-96

Coaching Career

· Dayton: Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, 1997-99
· Indiana: Assistant Coach, 2000-01
· Georgia Tech: Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, 2002-06
· Winthrop: Head Coach, 2007-2011
· Florida: Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, 2011-13

Head Coaching Record: 64-59 (.520), four seasons

2007

Winthrop

20-12

11-1 Big South

2008

Winthrop

11-20

7-9 Big South

2009

Winthrop

19-11

11-5 Big South

2010

Winthrop

14-16

10-6 Big South

TOTALS

 

64-59

39-21 Big South