March 7, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala - Hal Messersmith, who has served on the UAB volleyball staff in multiple roles the past five years, will add additional duties as the head coach of the Blazers' sand volleyball program that will begin competition in spring of 2012.
Messersmith has served in the positions of assistant coach and director of volleyball operations since joining the UAB staff in 2006.
UAB announced last November that it would add sand volleyball and women's bowling to its intercollegiate sports program. Sand volleyball was recently recognized by the NCAA as an emerging sport and will be contested for the first time during the 2011-12 academic year.
Known as beach volleyball on the professional and Olympic levels, the sport has seen a significant increase in popularity since first being contested at the Olympics in 1996. The performances of the United States teams at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the 2008 Games staged in Beijing have spurred additional growth for the sport in the U.S.
At UAB, Messersmith has been a part of the most successful span in program history, helping the Blazers to three 20-win seasons and two appearances in the NCAA tournament in his five years with the program.
Messersmith has worked with his wife, UAB head coach Kerry Messersmith, for the past 10 seasons. He spent five years with her on the staff at Georgia Southern prior to arriving at UAB in 2006.
"Hal has done an outstanding job and contributed greatly to the success of our volleyball program since he has been at UAB," Brian Mackin, the Blazers' Director of Athletics, said. "He is an excellent coach and has great contacts in the volleyball community. We are confident he is the right person to lead our sand volleyball program as we prepare for the start of our inaugural season of competition."
Additionally, Messersmith has overseen the academic and financial aid aspects of the program. He organizes team travel and facilities scheduling while also coordinating all video operations for the Blazers.
Messersmith's coaching experience includes stops at Chadron State, Allen County (Kan.) Community College, Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College and Arizona Western College.
Hal and Kerry have two daughters, Meghan and Brynnley, and reside in Vestavia Hills, Ala.