Seven-year volleyball coach at Grace College, Andria Harshman, has accepted the head volleyball coaching position at Colorado Christian University.
Doug West will serve as the interim coach. A national search for Grace’s next volleyball coach will begin immediately.
Harshman was responsible for revamping the Lady Lancers’ program, taking over a program that went 3-14 and 0-8 in conference play in her first season. She leaves Grace with 135 wins in seven seasons, averaging over 25 wins per year since 2011.
Prior to Harshman’s arrival, the Lady Lancers had not won 20 games or reached a national tournament since 2001. Under Harshman’s guidance, Grace had two 30-win seasons and advanced to the NCCAA National Championships three times. Grace reached the NCCAA semifinals twice, including the 2014 squad that finished 30-12.
“God has really blessed my family and me in this journey at Grace College. This is a very special place for me, but God is calling us to something different now. As sad as we are to be leaving the people, we are so excited to see what God is going to do through us,” Harshman said. “When I came back to Grace in 2007, I remember dreaming about building up a program that was not only great in the league but also in the NCCAA and NAIA. This program has done just that. The teams that have come and gone have built a strong legacy that will continue to press on. Even though this chapter is done for me at Grace, I know that this program will continue to flourish because Christ is at the center of everything God is doing here. Chad Briscoe has been a great leader because of his vision and unwavering faith, and I’m thankful for him and his staff in taking a chance on a first-time coach like me.”
During the course of the 2011 season, Harshman navigated the Lady Lancers to a 12-match winning streak, the longest for the program since 1996. The Lady Lancers capped off their 2011 campaign with their first trip to the NCCAA National Championships in over a decade (2001). At the NCCAA Nationals, Harshman directed Grace to the national semifinals where they fell in five sets.
During her collegiate career at Grace, Harshman was a member of both the volleyball and track and field teams. Through her four years as a player, the volleyball team won three conference tournaments and three regular season championships. In the 2001-02 season, the team was named NAIA Region VIII Champions and participated in the NAIA Championships.
“It has been a blessing to have Andria lead our volleyball program the past seven years. She has taken our program from the bottom of the league to being a nationally recognized program,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “I appreciate her family’s investment into the lives of young ladies to grow them spiritually, academically and socially. We wish her and her family all the best with their next assignment and pray the Lord will continue to bless her ministry through volleyball. We are thankful for the young ladies in our program and their continued pursuit of Christian excellence through volleyball.”
Harshman will be taking over the NCAA Div. II program. The Cougars were 27-14 last season and fell in the championship match of NCCAA Nationals.
“We are tremendously thankful for all that Andria has invested into the volleyball program and our school over the past seven years,” said Grace Vice President for Student Affairs and Academic Services Jim Swanson. “She has been a leader of integrity and excellence and has made a lasting impact not only on our school but on our community.”