Six NCAA Tournament teams highlight the schedule for Tom Black's first season.
Volleyball Signing Class Ranked No. 30
Black will have seven newcomers in his first year in Athens.
Ritchie will join the team in 2017 from California.
Eight different camps will be offered in the months of June and July.
"This is a humbling and incredible opportunity to be a part of the University of Georgia,” said Black, current head coach at Loyola Marymount. “I want to thank Greg McGarity Carla Williams and Rhonda Kilpatrick for allowing this to happen. The environment within the university and athletic department blew me away and I instantly felt how special a place this is. The potential for our women's volleyball program here is tremendous and I can't wait to begin.
"I also want to thank Loyola Marymount University, in particular Bill Husak, Dan Smith and the tremendous student-athletes and coaches I was privileged to work with. The depth and meaning of my time there goes beyond words and I will always be grateful for my experience at LMU.
"I'm excited to meet our team. I've heard incredible things about them. I know in transitions emotions run strong for so many of us and it will be great to get in the gym and begin the process of seeing how good we can be. I'm honored to be a part of it."
Black comes to Athens with 12 years of NCAA collegiate head coaching experience with time at UC San Diego and Loyola Marymount, accumulating a career record of 242-115 after posting six seasons with 20-plus wins.
Working with some of the top athletes in the country, Black has been extremely active with the U.S. Women's National Team over the last few years, working alongside U.S. head coach Karch Kiraly. Black most recently served on the staff at the 2016 Rio Olympic games as an assistant coach, as the United States garnered a bronze medal.
"A huge congratulations to Tom and to the University of Georgia women's volleyball program,” said Kiraly. “Tom has played a pivotal role in the development and success of our USA Women's Team since he joined our staff in 2013, especially through his program-wide focus on learning and growth. We'll miss him, and we wish him great luck!"
Black spent the last seven seasons at Loyola Marymount, leading the Lions to 127 wins and three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2015 after upsetting No. 13 Colorado State and No. 6 Stanford. His team notched back-to-back 20-wins seasons in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, the Lions entered the AVCA Top 25 Poll at No. 23 and held a national ranking for five weeks.
During his stint, 21 student-athletes earned All-West Coast Conference honors while he oversaw four AVCA All-America selections and six AVCA All-Region picks. Black saw one of his players earn the WCC Defensive Player of the Year in four of the last six years while also garnering AVCA Region Freshman of the Year in 2014.
Prior to LMU, Black served at the helm of Division II UC San Diego women’s team for five seasons. Black went 115-29 with the Tritons and had his team ranked in the AVCA national poll every week for his final four seasons. UCSD ranked as high as No. 2 in 2009 while finishing in the top 10 in two seasons. The 2006 Tachikara/AVCA D-II Pacific Region Coach of the Year, Black coached 20 All-Conference honorees as well as four All-America selections.
Black is heavily involved with the U.S. Women's National Team, culminating in his selection as an assistant coach with the team in March of 2013. Black was with the team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, helping guide the United States to a bronze medal. Black also assisted with Team USA prior to the team winning their first world championship gold medal at the FIVB World Championship in October 2014 while the team went on to win the 2015 World Grand Prix Championship and a Bronze Medal at the World Cup.
Before being named as an assistant within the program, Black spent three consecutive summers as a consultant coach as the National Team prepared for the 2012 London Games.
Prior to his time at UCSD, Black spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the men's volleyball program at USC. He also served as the men’s head coach at Pierce Junior College and Thousand Oaks High School as well as an assistant for Pierce Junior College’s women’s team and Royal High School’s boy’s team.
Black received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UCSD in 1996 where he was also a four-year letterwinner, setting numerous hitting records and earning All-MPSF honorable mention notice as a senior in 1996. The California native was Volleyball Magazine's Small College Player of the Year in 1996, while also earning Small College All-America honors that same year.
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