TEMPE – A Sun Devil legend is coming home: head coach JJ Van Niel has added Arizona State’s all-time kills leader Macey (Gardner) Donathan as an assistant coach for Sun Devil Volleyball.
“I’m excited to have Macey and her family join Sun Devil Volleyball,” Van Niel said. “As a Gilbert native, former Sun Devil great and all-time kill leader at ASU, Macey brings a passion and vision for growing this program that is unparalleled. Throughout the process, I was continually impressed with her ability to fill all aspects of the coaching role, and she has had enormous success as a recruiter throughout her career. Macey will be an amazing mentor for both Preslie and our student athletes. I am so fortunate to have her here as my partner in building the Sun Devil Volleyball program.”
Macey (Gardner) Donathan comes back to Tempe after four seasons on the Arkansas staff with former Sun Devil head coach Jason Watson. A former outside hitter for the Sun Devils, Donathan’s name is all across the record book, including holding the record for career kills. She was also an All-American in 2014 and helped ASU to its highest ranking in program history in 2015. Before her time with the Razorbacks, she was an assistant coach at Arizona State for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
“The thoughtfulness and enthusiasm that surrounds this staff and program speak volumes to the hope of the future of ASU Volleyball,” Donathan said. “I am honored to be a steward of the vision to create an environment and a culture that our squad, our fans and our alumni can be proud of. It is something I will pursue wholeheartedly. Head Coach JJ VanNiel, Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson and Sr. Associate Athletic Director Graham Rossini, thank you for bringing me and my family home, and thank you for your direction and support of what I’m confident will be an unprecedented era of Sun Devil Volleyball.”
During her time in Fayetteville, Donathan helped guide the Razorbacks to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013, not only qualifying for the most recent postseason but advancing to the second round. Arkansas finished ranked No. 25 in the final 2022 AVCA rankings after a second-consecutive 20-win season. In her four years of…