CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- After 12 years leading Miami's volleyball program, Nicole Lantagne Welch has accepted the head coaching position at UC Santa Barbara. Lantagne Welch was announced as the Gauchos' new head coach during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
A two-time ACC & AVCA East Region Coach of the Year, Lantagne Welch had been the head coach of the University of Miami volleyball program since it re-started for the 2001 season.
The most successful coach in school history, Lantagne Welch led Miami to a 243-120 record (.669), posting winning seasons in 10 of the 12 years while reaching 20 wins on six occasions. Lantagne Welch has led the Hurricanes to the NCAA tournament five times, including in each of the past four years.
Setting a program record with 17 league wins, the Canes came within one victory of an outright ACC title to finish in sole possession of second place. The team tied a league record with six players earning All-ACC honors (all for the first time), with five being named AVCA All-Region to tie Penn State and Iowa State for the most All-Region honorees nationally.
Her 2012 team also set a new program mark with 2.90 blocks per set, including a school record 23 total blocks in a road win at Clemson. The Hurricanes started off the conference season with arguably the most impressive win in program history, knocking off rival No. 6 Florida State in front of a record crowd at the Knight Sports Complex and a national television audience on ESPNU. Miami won all 13 matches at home and took 10-straight matches in the middle of the season to appear in the national poll in five different weeks. She won her 100th career ACC match Oct. 12, 2012, at her alma mater.
Lantagne Welch began her coaching career in 1994 as an assistant coach on the Maryland staff before becoming a graduate assistant coach at Ohio University in 1995. At Ohio, she developed training sessions for setters and assisted in the scouting of opponents and in the development of game plans. Lantagne Welch arrived at Miami after serving as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. During her three seasons there, the Aggies finished ranked in the top 20 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament each season (1997-99). In 1999, Texas A&M advanced to the elite eight of the NCAA Tournament, compiling a 28-6 record and a No. 9 final ranking. Under Lantagne Welch's training, Aggie setter Jenna Moscovic was named the 1999 Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and named to the All-American Freshman Team by Volleyball Magazine. As a sophomore, Moscovic was selected to the 2000 All-Big 12 Team and All-District 5 Team. Lantagne Welch also played a major role in bringing the Aggies back-to-back Top 10 recruiting classes. The 1999 class was ranked in the Top 10 by Student Sports Magazine and the 1998 class was ranked sixth by Volleyball Magazine.
A national search is underway for Lantange Welch's replacement.