Spencer Greathouse, Director of Athletic Media Relations
BOLIVAR – Southwest Baptist University Director of Athletics Mike Pitts has announced the hiring of James Hanger as the new Head Coach of the Volleyball program.
“I’m thrilled that James Hanger will lead our volleyball program,” Pitts said. “Not only is he an experienced veteran in the volleyball world, what stood out to us is his commitment to Jesus Christ. Hanger will be an outstanding spiritual influence in our department – and to the entire SBU Family.”
Coach James comes to SBU with 20 years of experience. He spent three years as an assistant coach at NCAA division I Samford University. While at Samford, coach James was part of the first conference championship won by the volleyball team and the program’s single season record at 29-4.
At NCAA Division II Christian Brothers University he served as assistant coach for two years. At CBU, coach James was part of another record breaking season with a record of 25-10 in a single season. In combination of these five years of college coaching experience he has been tasked with all areas of collegiate coaching and assisted these two programs to a combined record of 106-59.
In addition to college experience, he also was honored as “Coach of the Year” in the Birmingham, Ala. area while the head coach at Shades Mountain Christian School in Hoover, Ala. At SMC he led the team to the state championships, placed three players on the all state team, and finished the season with a 21-9 record.
Coach James has also coached for USA Volleyball High Performance. USAV HP is a pipeline that conducts tryouts throughout the US, and identifies the best players in the nation who may someday earn the opportunity to play for the USA Olympic indoor women’s team. Three years he served as an assistant coach for a team that competed in the High Performance Championships international tournament hosted by the US. One year he served as the head coach of a team representing the Delta region of USAV that competed in the HP Championships.
Coach James has earned two undergraduate degrees from Drury University, a Masters, personal trainer certification, and multiple coaching certifications. On Dec. 9, 2017 coach James and wife Carol Sue welcomed Merri Mae Hanger into their family. Hanger and his wife, Carol Sue, are members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield.
“I’m so excited to start the next chapter of success at SBU,” Hanger said. “This is a special university and I welcome athletes who share my passion for volleyball, life, and want to grow in their faith of Jesus Christ our savior. It’s my intent to walk along side and mentor girls in the program as they mature in their Christian faith and strive to become the best volleyball player they can be. SBU volleyball can develop into a highly successful team on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.”