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Xavier University women's volleyball coach Christabell Hamilton   Christabell Hamilton
Women's Volleyball Head Coach
Xavier University of Louisiana

Office: (504) 520-5344     Fax: (504) 520-7934     E-Mail: chamilt5@xula.edu
Mail and Shipping: 1 Drexel Drive, Campus Box 92, New Orleans LA 70125
Best Time to Contact Hamilton: Weekday mornings
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     Christabell Hamilton, who needed just a few months to become Xavier University of Louisiana's most successful women's volleyball coach, is in her second season in 2012 as coach of the Gold Nuggets.
     Hamilton, hired June 14, 2011, led an XU turnaround which included its first winning season, first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championships — regular season (10-0), then tournament (4-0) — first berth in the NAIA National Championship and the fourth-best turnaround in the NAIA (from 11-26 to 23-7). Hamilton became the third coach — the second since the 1930s — to win a conference championship in a debut season at Xavier.
     As a result, Hamilton was chosen GCAC Co-Coach of the Year by her peers and Louisiana Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
     "Christabell raised the bar for Xavier volleyball so high," XU athletics director Dennis Cousin said. "We've won a lot of championships at Xavier, but what Christabell did last year has got to be one of the best coaching jobs we've ever had."
     The Gold Nuggets were solid in the classroom, too. Their 3.15 grade-point average was the highest of all XU teams in 2011-12.
     Hamilton, 30, arrived at Xavier with coaching experience at the college, high school and club levels. She coached five seasons (2005-09) at Tarleton State University, an NCAA Division II member in Stephenville, Texas. She was a graduate assistant in the 2005 and 2006 seasons and was promoted to full-time assistant after receiving her master's degree there. She helped the TexAnns go 22-10 in 2008 — the program's first winning record in 16 seasons — and reach the semifinals of the Lone Star Conference Tournament for the second time in three years. Tarleton's 2008 team placed second in the LSC regular season.
     She moved to New Orleans in August 2010 after her husband, Ronnie, was hired as a men's basketball assistant coach at Tulane University. She was a middle-school volleyball coach at Metairie Park Country Day School, then a varsity girls volleyball assistant coach at Louise S. McGehee School, where she helped the Hawks reach the semifinals of Louisiana's Division IV state playoffs in 2010. She was coaching the girls 17s at Krewe Volleyball Club when Xavier offered her its position.
     "I want all my kids to graduate from Xavier, first and foremost," Hamilton said when she was hired. "I want them to succeed in volleyball and get recognition on the conference, NAIA and national levels. And most importantly, I want them to be great people — to represent our community, Xavier, as well as their families in a positive light."
     Hamilton was a three-time All-LSC selection — she was known then as Christabell Mariner — at NCAA Division II member Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. She played middle blocker and outside hitter for the Zias from 1999-2002, set school records for kills in a season (575 in 2001) and career (1,695) and was inducted into the ENMU Hall of Honor in 2009. She received her bachelor's degree from ENMU in 2005.
     Hamilton is a native of Pago Pago, America Samoa, and was a standout volleyball player at Tafuna High School, where she had a 4.0 GPA and was valedictorian of the Class of 1999. Her uncle, Jesse Sapolu, was a San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman from 1983-97, a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of four Super Bowl champions.
     "Samoans are known as happy people," Hamilton said. "We are very family oriented, always put God first and respect others."


What They're Saying About Christabell Hamilton

Christabell Hamilton, right, led XU in 2011 to a 23-7 record, 
 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships and a spot in the NAIA National Championship.

Christabell Hamilton, right, led XU in 2011 to a 23-7 record, Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships and a spot in the NAIA National Championship.
          Mike Maguire, Eastern New Mexico Women's Volleyball Coach:  "You couldn't have gotten a better coach. Christabell is an extremely fine young lady. She played here four years, broke a lot of records and was as humble as can be. She did a great job when she coached at Tarleton State. I know she'll do a great job at Xavier. She's fun-loving and hard-working. You guys are extremely lucky to get her."

     Mary Schindler, Tarleton State Women's Volleyball Coach:  "I am so excited for Christabell. This is going to be a great job for her — to build a program and establish something. She can recruit very well. She has a great personality, and she got along great with our players at Tarleton. She wants to win and she's driven to win, but she wants to do it the right way. She wants her kids to graduate and do the right things."


     Val Whitfield-Dunn, Louise S. McGehee School Girls Volleyball Coach:  "There are no negatives about Christabell. She is very lively and upbeat. She has an excellent personality. She's hilarious. She's a people person. We are extremely disappointed that she left McGehee, but she is fulfilling one of her dreams, which is to be a head coach. She will do extraordinary and fabulous things for Xavier University and your volleyball program."

     Sia Poyer, Valdosta State Women's Volleyball Coach:  "I recruited Christabell to Eastern New Mexico off a video tape when we were still using VHS format. You could just see how talented she was. Her athletic ability was incredible. It all started from there. She struggled a little bit her freshman year as she got used to the speed of the game, but once she did she got comfortable with everything, and she's been going full speed since. She's an extremely loyal young lady. She's a team player. She's always going to put the needs of others first. She's going to do an incredible job for you guys."

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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