Kenton Means, Sports Information Director
LAWTON – Cameron University Athletic Director Jim Jackson has announced the hiring of Brandon Stephenson to be the program’s next head volleyball coach.
“We are fortunate to hire someone like Coach Stephenson to lead the Aggie Volleyball program so late in the summer,” the CU athletic director said. “We have a good foundation that was built by Coach (Tatiana) Booth, and I expect Coach Stephenson to step in, build on what we have, and help our program take the next step in the tough Lone Star Conference.”
Stephenson joins the CU coaching staff after spending the past three seasons at Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kan. There he led the Cougars to a third place finish in the Jayhawk West while also ranking in the top-5 in NJCAA in team GPA in 2018. The program had five players that were Academic All-Americans and four received All-Conference and All-Region honors. Two years prior, they held the crown for highest team GPA with eight Cougars receiving All-Academic honors.
“Coming to Cameron for me personally was an opportunity to move up to the next level,” said Stephenson about his move to Division II. “I had been at the junior college level my whole career and for a four-year university job to open up, it was something I could not pass up. With a mentor that is already in the LSC, I have been preparing for what I would need to do to coach at this level and Cameron has such a great tradition of volleyball and I am looking forward to getting the program back to where it was.”
Before heading to Barton, Stephenson made stops at Lamar CC, where he spent three seasons, Highland CC, Trinity Valley CC, Bethany College, and McPherson College in various roles.
Stephenson graduated from Salina Central HS where he was an All-State offensive lineman. He then attended Coffeyville CC where he was a two-time All-Conference players and was named a pre-season All-American his sophomore year. He went on to play at Nebraska-Kearney before injuries sidelined his career, leading him to transfer to McPherson.
While at McPherson, Stephenson was a student coach for the volleyball team and was in charge of their strength program. He then transferred to Kansas Wesleyan where he graduated with a degree in physical education and a minor in secondary health and coaching. Stephenson then received his Master’s in Recreation and Sport Science from Ohio University in 2013.
Stephenson inherits a roster that has 10 returners, all of which saw action last season, along with 10 newcomers who will all look to improve on a 2018 season in which they won just two conference matches.
“I’m excited to see that talent that we have coming back and coming in. The girls have the right mindset and want to be better than last year. Coming in to a program, you always want to see what the level of commitment each athlete has for the program and so far, our girls seem ready. We want to start out by putting the systems that we want to run in play and go from there.”
CU’s new head man has a tough task as he gets to lead the team into the new era of the Lone Star Conference, with the league expanding to 19 schools this summer. It is a task that Stephenson looks forward to taking on this season and in the future.
“We want to compete for conference titles and go to national tournaments, but right now we want to just establish consistency and build the process so that future athletes can come in and see the culture and what we are trying to accomplish and this year’s squad is going to help build that foundation.”
The Cameron volleyball team will kick off their 2019 season at the Missouri Southern Tournament, Sep. 6-7, with matches against Wayne State, Colorado State-Pueblo, Missouri Southern, and Black Hills State. The full schedule can be found on cameronaggies.com.