Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Southern Virginia University Athletic Director Scott Y. Doxey today named Paige Palmer as head women's volleyball coach.
"We're pleased that Paige [Palmer] has accepted the head coach position for one of our storied athletics programs at Southern Virginia," said Athletic Director Scott Y. Doxey. "We also want to thank Michael [Harmon] for leading the program this past season and all he has done for women's volleyball."
Palmer will replace Michael Harmon to the post of women's volleyball head coach for the Knights, serving as the program's fifth head coach in five years.
During 2012, his tenth season as head women's volleyball coach, Harmon recorded his 200th win and finished with a 205-126 (.619) record, making him the winningest coach in Southern Virginia history—women's volleyball is Southern Virginia's athletic program with the most wins (320) and highest winning percentage (.625) overall. Harmon is also in his 14th season as the head women's basketball coach.
"We feel Paige [Palmer] is the best candidate to move the program forward as we transition into the NCAA Division III level and the Capital Athletic Conference," said Doxey.
As a scholar-athlete and assistant varsity coach at Lone Peak High School in Utah, Palmer won four high school state titles and participated in five high school state championship games.
After leading her varsity squad to back-to-back state championships (2003-04), the two-time team captain earned 4A Utah Volleyball Player of the Year in 2004. She was also twice named an all-state performer as well as academic all-state selection her senior year.
Prior to Southern Virginia, Palmer has served as girl's volleyball assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Lone Peak for three seasons (2007, 2010, 2012). During those years, under the helm of legendary Head Coach Deanna Meyer, her varsity team enjoyed Utah 5A state titles in 2007 and 2010 while reaching the state championship game this past fall in 2012.
In addition to Lone Peak, Palmer has coached club volleyball of varying age groups in Utah and Idaho from 2005-12.
A 2010 graduate, Palmer played women's volleyball at Idaho State University where she earned All-Big Sky honors her senior season at libero and served as team captain her final two years. Palmer holds the single-season digs record (503) and ranks fifth on the all-time career digs list (1,096) at Idaho State.
Upon graduation at Idaho State, Palmer served a fulltime mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile.
"I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity Southern Virginia is giving me to be head coach of a storied women's volleyball program," said Palmer. "We'll hope to build the team around the university's mission statement and core values that will garner success on-the-court and for our scholar-athletes the rest of their lives."
After receiving provisional NCAA Division III membership this past summer, Southern Virginia University accepted an invitation to join the Capital Athletic Conference effective July 1, 2013. The Knights will play a full CAC schedule this upcoming fall of 2013.
"Moving into DIII and the CAC is a positive step for women's volleyball and all athletic programs at Southern Virginia," said Palmer. "Working towards a conference championship at the DIII level can allow us to set high standards and provide our players with the desire to achieve those goals."