Tuesday, 30 May 2023

NCAA Womens Volleyball

Celebrating Black Excellence: Marci Byers

Celebrating Black Excellence: Marci Byers

As part of Virginia Tech Athletics’ celebration of Black History Month, the department will be sharing compelling stories of its staff and their amazing accomplishments throughout the month. We are reminded in this series that athletics serves as a great equalizer and provides an aspirational narrative and opportunity for all. We continue the series with Virginia Tech volleyball head coach Marci Byers

Being a great coach is measured in more than just wins and losses.

Sure, winning is the ultimate goal for any program to be deemed successful, but the real impact is made in the relationships built on and off the court.

Virginia Tech Volleyball Head Coach Marci Byers is living proof of it.

Even to this day, she still gets phone calls and text messages from players she coached many years ago, and every success story is a reminder that she’s not just molding rosters to compete in college. She’s helping shape the lives of young adults for what comes after athletics. Whether it’s a coach, mentor, friend or second mother, she’s whatever her players need her to be.

“I was driving in a car with my mom and two daughters when one of my players from Radford called and told me about the work she did for the Grammys and the NBA during All-Star Weekend in Utah.”

“The fact that she reached out to me just to give me that kind of news is humbling, and it actually makes me a bit emotional as well. Just to know I had that kind of impact on her, honestly, it’s kind of cool.”


A shift in coaching direction

Something else to throw in the “cool” category is the fact that Coach Byers never set out to be a volleyball coach in the beginning of her career.

Basketball was her first love, and she was always looking to follow in her dad’s footsteps as a coach in the sport. She even remembers going to practices with him as a kid and drawing up plays on the sidelines.

Volleyball wasn’t even on the radar until some things out of her control forced her to shift directions after spending eight years coaching high school basketball.

That’s when Coach Skip Weston offered her an opportunity to serve as an assistant coach under him in club volleyball.

“He sent me all over the country in different gyms just to learn,” said Coach Byers.

It was basically a crash course on volleyball that built a bridge of trust between the two coaches.

As Coach Byers got deeper into the sport, she eventually learned that Coach Weston and his wife coached at Godwin High School, which had a…

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