Craig Case is the seventh coach in program history. 2020 is his 11th season at the helm of the Lion volleyball program. He is the longest tenured coach in program history. He enters the season with 184 wins, the second most in program history and just two wins shy of being the all-time winningest coach in program history.
The 2019 season continued the Lions' success, as the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season, just the second time in program history the program had qualified three years in a row for the NCAA Tournament. The team finished with a 24-7 record, including a 16-2 record in conference play. Their first season playing a divisional schedule, the team finished 9-1 in their division, earning a share of the divisional championship. Due to the highest RPI in the conference, the Lions hosted the LSC Championship Tournament. The team fell in the first round of the LSC Tournament in five sets to TWU and was the fifth seed in the NCAA Regional Tournament. The team drew divisional rival Arkansas-Fort Smith, falling in five sets. Shelley Chapron was named a Third Team All-American by both the AVCA and the D2CCA, making program history as the only player to earn at least three All-America awards in her career. Sydney Andersen was also named an Honorable Mention All-American by the AVCA. Chapron became the second player in program history to be named LSC Defensive Player of the Year and earned First Team All-LSC honors. She was also named Academic All-LSC and Academic All-Region. Andersen, Savannah Rutledge and Celeste Vela earned Second Team honors while Bina Njikam was named Honorable Mention and Nicki Gonelli was named Academic All-LSC.
The 2018 season built on the team's 2017 success and raised it to new heights. The Lions improved their win total yet again, for the fourth consecutive season. The team finished with a 30-6 record, the first time the team had a 30-win season since 1987. The Lions finished in second place in the LSC standings with a 17-3 record, earning Case the LSC Coach of the Year award. The team would go on to win its second ever LSC Tournament championship, defeating regular season champion Tarleton in four sets. The Lions qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and made it all the way to the Regional Championship match, falling in four sets to Tarleton. Shelley Chapron earned All-America status once again and also gained national status as the AVCA National Player of the Week. Chapron also went on to earn LSC Tournament MVP honors. Jaslyn Wacker also was named an Academic All-American. Under Case, Celeste Vela was named the LSC Freshman of the Year. Seven Lions would go on to earn All-Conference honors. Chapron earned First Team honors while Jaslyn Wacker, Jaryn Wacker and Bina Njikam earned Second Team status. Vela was joined by Savannah Rutledge and Rylie Fuentes on the Honorable Mention team.
The 2017 season was one of the best seasons in Lion volleyball history. The Lions improved their win total for a third consecutive season and finished with a perfect 11-0 record in the Field House. The team finished 21-12 overall, securing second place in the Lone Star Conference. The Lions would advance to the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament, the first time the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament since 1988. During the season, Case moved into second place in program history in wins. Shelley Chapron was named both Honorable Mention All-American and Honorable Mention All-Region by the AVCA and Jaslyn Wacker was named Second Team All-Region by the D2CCA. Chapron was named LSC Newcomer of the Year and Wacker was named the program's first Academic All-American as well as the first LSC Academic Player of the Year. Five players were named to the All-Conference team while two were named Academic All-Conference. The Lions advanced to the second round of the LSC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, falling in the first round to Metro State in five sets.
During the 2016 season, the Lions improved their win total for the second consecutive year. They went 19-13 and were regionally ranked for the first time under Case. With a win over Midwestern State on October 1, Case earned his 100th win as A&M-Commerce's head coach. Ashley Mireles was named Libero of the Year, leading the conference with 618 digs. Mireles was also named First Team All-LSC. Taryn Driver was named Second Team All-LSC for the second time and Jaslyn Wacker was named an All-LSC Honorable Mention and was named to the LSC All-Academic Team. The Lions lost in the first round of the LSC Tournament.
In the 2015 campaign, the Lions went 15-14 with numerous postseason accolades. Taryn Driver, Veronika Baric, and Jaslyn Wacker were named all-Lone Star Conference second team with Courtney Tate and Summer Alford earning LSC Honorable Mention. Driver was also named to the LSC All-Academic Team.
In 2014, three Lions earned all-conference accolades. Amy Davault was a First-Team All LSC performer and a AVCA All-South Central Region Honorable mention performer. Davault eclipsed both the 1,000 kill and 1,000 dig milestone. Freshman setter Courtney Tate was All-Lone Star Conference Honorable Mention and Taryn Driver was an All-Academic Lone Star Conference performer.
The 2013 season was one of the best seasons A&M-Commerce volleyball has seen. The Lions won eight of their first 10 games and finished with a record of 23-9, 9-7 in the Lone Star Conference, good enough for fourth place.
In 2013 a number of Lions earned all-conference accolades. Amy Davault was both a first-team All-Conference performer and Newcomer of The Year in the Lone Star Conference. Davault was also a AVCA All-American Honorable Mention performer and AVCA First -Team All-South Central performer. Senior setter Jordan Neal set a school record for career assists with 4,667 and had the second most assists in a single season with 1,459 in 2013. Neal was named Setter of The Year in the LSC and a first team All-LSC performer.
The 2012 season proved to be one of the highlights of Case’s career as he helped guide A&M-Commerce to a 20-11 mark, an improvement of nine wins from the previous season. The Lions finished fifth in the Lone Star Conference with an 11-9 mark, qualifying for the LSC tournament for the first time since 2009.
On a personal note, Case notched an impressive career milestone in the 3-0 victory over Midwestern State at the Field House on October 27th, earning his 100th career victory as a head coach.
Under Case’s tutelage, senior middle blocker Rachel Robertson capped her impressive career by being named the LSC Offensive Player of the Year, leading the conference in hitting percentage, kills per set and points per set. She finished her career ranked third all-time in program history in career kills as Robertson was also a two-time LSC All-Academic Team selection.
In addition, junior setter Jordan Neal was named a second team All-LSC setter for the third-straight season while sophomore middle blocker Breanne Snyder was an honorable mention selection. Junior right side hitter Kayla Bond also joined Robertson on the All-Academic Team for the second time.
In 2011, a pair of Lions earned All-Lone Star Conference accolades with Robertson being named to the first team and Neal picking up second team honors. Robertson and Bond were also selected as Capital One first team Academic All-District IV selections for their success in the classroom as well as to the LSC All-Academic Team.
Case made a strong impact in his first season in Commerce, leading the Lions to a 14-15 record, including a 7-6 mark at the Fieldhouse as A&M-Commerce finished the year strong, winning six of its final nine matches. He saw a pair of his players go on to receive Lone Star Conference postseason honors as Neal and Robertson both were recognized with All-LSC second team honors.
Case came to A&M-Commerce with an extensive volleyball coaching career, including the last four seasons at Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota. In addition to serving as the head volleyball coach, he also served as an instructor and as the school’s sports information director. He guided the Vikings to its first winning season in nearly a decade and currently ranks second all-time in career wins in the program.
At VCSU, Case coached the athletic department’s first-ever, first-team female All-American, two Academic All-Americans, an AVCA/NAIA Regional Player of the Year as well as multiple players, who earned conference recognition from the Dakota Athletic Conference. Among the recognition were two DAC Liberos of the Year and a DAC Player of the Year. Twice, his team was recognized by the NAIA as Champions of Character and was recognized by the AVCA for its academic success. Concurrently, he was also involved as the Director of the Valley City Juniors Volleyball Club.
Case served as the head volleyball coach at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., as they restarted their volleyball program in 2005. Despite having only a month to compile a team, Case had a player earn all-Sooner Athletic Conference honors.
Prior to that, he served for three seasons as an assistant coach and assistant in the athletic development office at Northern State University, where he directed two all-region performers and five all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selections, a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Libero of the Year and the team earned academic honors from the AVCA all three years.
He has been active with volleyball camps ranging from remedial developmental to elite performance camps. He has served as a speaker at the North Dakota, South Dakota and the Oklahoma Volleyball Coaches Association clinics.
Case has also played an integral role in the North Texas Region High Performance Volleyball Program. He served as the head coach of the select team in 2012 before overseeing the program and coaching the Youth team at the National Tournament in Fort Lauderdale this past July.
Case received his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University in 1999 and holds a master’s degree in education from St. Lawrence University and received his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education, health and coaching at Northern State University.