Hal Messersmith enters his seventh season as a member of the UAB volleyball staff in 2012, having held the titles both of volunteer assistant coach and director of volleyball operations. In the spring, Messersmith serves as the Blazers' head coach for the sand volleyball program, which finished its inaugural season in 2012.
At UAB, Messersmith has been a part of the most successful span in program history, helping the Blazers to four 20-win seasons and two appearances in the NCAA tournament in his six years with the program.
Messersmith has worked with his wife, UAB head coach Kerry Messersmith, for the past 11 seasons. He spent five years with her on the staff at Georgia Southern prior to arriving at UAB in 2006.
"He has 25-plus years experience of coaching several different sports, but he's been coaching volleyball for the last 10 and does a great job," Kerry Messersmith said. "He studies the game and knows the game very well and technically is very sound. He's constantly studying the game. He watches film every day. He'll do a lot of scouting of opponents and gameplanning."
Additionally, Messersmith oversees 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.
In the sand he coached the Blazers to a 6-4 record in dual competition in the sports first season as an emerging sport under the NCAA. In fact, UAB made history on March 3, 2012 when the Blazers hosted Florida State in the first-ever sanctioned collegiate sand volleyball contest.
The Blazers as a team just missed out from qualifying for the AVCA National Championship in the first year of the program, but under the watch of Messersmith, UAB did send Heather Thomas and Kirsten Gallagher as one of 32 pairs to compete in the AVCA Pairs Championship.
In addition to his 11 seasons in collegiate volleyball, Messersmith has nearly 20 years of head coaching experience in college football, baseball and basketball. From the mid-1980s through 2001, he posted 17 winning seasons in those sports while graduating 95 percent of his student-athletes.
Messersmith's coaching experience includes stops at Chadron State, Allen County (Kan.) Community College, Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College and Arizona Western College.