Since its beginning in 1968 with a group of physical education students and a volunteer coach, Florida State volleyball has shed its club team roots to become one of the nation’s premiere programs.
In its infancy it was not uncommon for the group of aspiring athletes and teachers to pay their own way to tournaments and share warm-up suits with the other women’s club teams. The club struggled to become established in those early years as team members were faced with having to find a new volunteer head coach each of the program’s first five years.
After Florida State made its first ever appearance at the AIAW National Tournament in 1971, Dr. Billie Jones assumed the coaching duties on a permanent basis for the next six seasons. Under Jones’ direction the Seminoles amassed a 107-22 record, and volleyball at Florida State became a mainstay.
Success continued for the program as it returned to the AIAW National Tournament in 1973, ’74 and ’75, while competing for state and regional championships along the way. Popularity for the sport began to grow. Former FSU basketball head coach Hugh Durham and his wife Melinda were two of the team’s biggest supporters, often attending home matches. In just a few short years, Florida State volleyball became recognized as one of the sport’s up-and-coming programs.
Current head coach Cecile Reynaud continued to build on the foundation laid by her predecessors. Under Reynaud’s guidance, FSU qualified for the AIAW National Tournament three more times. After its third successive AIAW appearance in 1981, Florida State joined the NCAA and began competing in the Metro Conference in ’82.
Before FSU joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1992, it had captured six Metro Conference titles. In five years of ACC play the Seminoles have an ACC regular season co-championship to their credit and have played in two ACC tournament title matches.
Since Florida State became a NCAA volleyball member in 1982, the Seminoles have qualified for the National Championship Tournament eight times, including six appearances in the last ten years. Several of FSU’s volleyball alumni have gone on to play professionally. Whether it be in Europe or the sandy shores of California, Florida State’s top athletes often choose to continue playing the game they love. Currently, three FSU volleyball players are on tour with the professional beach circuit.
Perhaps the most famous of the FSU volleyball alumni is Nike spokeswoman and world-class model Gabrielle Reece. After enjoying a standout career at Florida State, Reece has gone on to captain Team Nike on the pro beach circuit. She recently had a regular fitness column in ELLE magazine and has appeared on MTV Sports. Reece co-authored her first book entitled Big Girl in the Middle, which was released this summer.
In the 29 years since its inception, Florida State volleyball has prided itself in giving athletes the opportunity to reach their full potential both on the court and in the classroom. Pride, tradition and success are all part of what is known as Seminole Volleyball.
FSU Volleyball Coaches 1968 Martha Pat Moore 1969 Dr. Judy Blucher 1970 Dr. Billie Jones 1971 Dr. Linda Warren 1972-75 Dr. Billie Jones (107-22) 1976-present Cecile Reynaud (539-260) Tournament History Conference Tournaments CONF. YEAR SITE HOST FINISH METRO 1982 Tallahassee, FL FSU 3rd Place METRO 1983 Louisville, KY Louisville Champions METRO 1984 Columbia, SC South Carolina 3rd Place METRO 1985 Hattiesburg, MS Southern Miss Champions METRO 1986 Blacksburg, VA Virginia Tech Champions METRO 1987 Memphis, TN Memphis State Champions METRO 1988 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Champions METRO 1989 Tallahassee, FL FSU Champions METRO 1990 Louisville, KY Louisville 3rd Place ACC 1991 Charlottesville, VA Virginia 3rd Place ACC 1992 College Park, MD Maryland Runner-up ACC 1993 Durham, NC Duke Runner-up ACC 1994 Chapel Hill, NC North Carolina 3rd Place ACC 1995 Clemson, SC Clemson 3rd Place ACC 1996 Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech 5th Place NCAA Championships YEAR SITE Opponent SCORE 1983 Tallahassee Tennessee 15-12, 15-12, 1-15, 10-15, 8-15 1985 Athens Georgia 6-15, 1-15, 11-15 1987 Austin Texas 6-15, 11-15, 9-15 1988 Tallahassee Colorado St. 3-15, 5-15, 15-9, 7-15 1989 Tallahassee California 15-11, 11-15, 13-15, 13-15 1990 Lexinton Kentucky 12-15, 10-15, 15-10, 10-15 1992 Gainesville Florida 9-15, 3-15, 10-15 1993 Tallahassee DePaul 15-8, 7-15, 15-10, 15-13 Tallahassee Pacific 6-15, 17-15, 6-15, 9-15