Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced on January 29 that Marci Byers has been named the sixth head coach in the history of Tech’s volleyball program. A four-time Big South Coach of the Year selection at Radford University, she is the winningest coach in Highlanders’ history, leading the program to three Big South regular-season titles, two Big South Tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament berths. She is one of only five head coaches in Big South history to register 200 or more career victories.
“We are excited to welcome Marci to Virginia Tech,” Babcock said. “She’s a proven winner and recruiter whose teams have also excelled in the classroom. We looked at some very highly qualified candidates from across the country, but as we narrowed our search, it became more and more apparent that the right fit for Virginia Tech was already in the New River Valley. Marci’s exemplary record and her long history of identifying talent in Virginia and across the country were two of the many factors that convinced us that she could lead an ACC volleyball program.”
The Hokies are seeking to snap a string of four straight seasons with a losing record and a return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.
“Spending almost my entire career coaching in the state, I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Virginia Tech,” Byers said. “Tech’s reputation as an academic institution, as well as the level of support for its athletic programs and its student-athletes is something I can’t wait to sell on the recruiting trail. I look forward to getting to work with the team as soon as possible and embracing the culture of Ut Prosim on campus in Blacksburg.”
During her tenure at Radford, the Chicago native consistently recruited top talent to the New River Valley from across the country, thanks to her strong relationships within the ACC footprint, as well as with elite club programs in the Midwest, Texas and California.
Byers’ squads at Radford topped the 20-win mark five times over the past seven seasons and compiled an 81-34 (.708) overall record over the past four years. She led the Highlanders to a 22-7 record in 2018, including a 12-4 mark in Big South play. They reached the Big South Tournament title game for the second consecutive season and were selected to play in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship where they defeated Appalachian State in the first round. During her tenure at Radford, her student-athletes twice registered the top team GPA of any program at the school (2008 and 2013).
No stranger to defeating Power Five foes, under her direction in 2017 the Highlanders registered wins at Arizona, at South Carolina and at Virginia Tech en route to a Big South Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth. In 2016, Byers led Radford to a 24-6 record, including a perfect 11-0 mark at home and a Big South regular-season championship. Her squads also registered wins against Wake Forest in 2016 and Washington State in 2015. Byers’ 2014 squad finished with a 24-8 mark that included wins over California and Maryland as Radford claimed the Big South regular-season title. The Highlanders earned their first NCAA Tournament appearance under Byers in 2013 after winning both the Big South regular-season and tournament titles, finishing the season with a 25-10 record.
Prior to beginning her tenure at Radford in 2008, she spent two seasons at NCAA Division II Chowan University in Murfreesboro, N.C. After going 4-17 in her initial season in 2006, Byers guided the Hawks to a 26-11 record as the squad averaged the most aces per game of any Division II squad. Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, she posted a 121-49 record in 10 seasons coaching in the Richmond prep ranks, spending two seasons at Mills Godwin High School and eight years at Hermitage High School.
Byers has also been a successful coach at the club level. Her 2003-04 team qualified for the Junior Olympics in Houston, while her 2004-05 team reached the Junior Olympics in Salt Lake City. She was also invited to participate in the USA Volleyball Coaches Clinic at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
She is a 1995 graduate of Virginia Union University where she graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in mathematics. A four-year starter on the volleyball team, she captained the team as both a junior and senior. Her husband, J.D., serves as an assistant men’s basketball coach at VCU. The couple are parents of a daughter, Kamryn Grey.
Kevin Cardoza was named an assistant volleyball coach at Virginia Tech in 2020, joining head coach Marci Byers' staff. Cardoza primarily oversees middle blockers and pins.
The Hokie block took a big step during the 2021 season, ranking as high as 12th in Division I in total team blocks. Tech ended the season with 259.6 total blocks compared to 205.5 by opponents. Angel Robinson was named Second Team All-State by VaSID after she led the team with 114 blocks, with 1.04 per set. The Hokies also recorded a season-high 19 blocks against Boston College in 2021, two away from the school record.
Before leading the Hokies, Cardoza joined the Radford volleyball program in February of 2019 and helped lead the Highlanders to a record of 10-16 along with six conference wins throughout the season. Radford garnered victories over Lehigh, Garnder-Webb, and Campbell. The Highlanders earned nine sweeps (3-0) last season.
Prior to Radford, Cardoza was an assistant coach at the University Albany, where he helped the Great Danes total 16 wins along with nine American East Conference victories in 2018. He helped Albany earn one of their most successful seasons in recent history.
The New York Institute of Technology graduate served as the director of operations at Tennessee, where he was in charge of a multitude of aspects of the Vols' program. Cardoza was also a volunteer assistant coach at Maryland in 2015, along with a stint at Concordia College.
Cardoza spent three seasons as the assistant coach at NYIT. There he helped lead the Bears to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the East Semifinals in the 2013 season.
The assistant coach also has experience as a recruiting coordinator, director of operations, social media manager and has also run several professional volleyball camps, including camps at Maryland and Tennessee.
John Wasielewski enters his sixth season as associate head coach at Virginia Tech, working primarily with the setters.
The 2021 season saw three Hokie setters with over 200 assists, including Brie Postema with 538 total and 6.18 per set. Wasielewski has guided Postema since her freshman year in which she tallied over 300 assists, leading the team. The 2020 season for the Hokies saw a win over then No.14 Duke and a sweep of Virginia in ACC play.
In his second year in 2018, Wasielewski played a pivotal role in setter Rhegan Mitchell’s success. The Georgia native became No. 5 all-time in program history for career assists, passing Jordan Fish (2010-13) with 3,548. Mitchell tallied two double-doubles in ACC play and had eight matches of 40-plus assists, including a season-high 58 versus Boston College.
His first season in 2018 saw Mitchell improve dramatically her redshirt junior year, guiding her to being named the Pepsi Panther Invitational MVP and All-Tournament selection, as well as being tabbed to the A-State Invitational All-Tournament team. Mitchell racked up 1,122 assists to become the first Hokie with over 1,000 assists since 2013 and was one of only six players in the ACC to tally more than 1,000 assists.
Prior to joining head coach Jill Wilson at Tech, Wasielewski held the same title for 18 years at Duke, where he helped lead the Blue Devils to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and four ACC Championships.
Wasielewski served under Duke head coach Jolene Nagel since her hiring in 1999 and the duo combined to turn the Blue Devil volleyball program into an ACC power. His acumen in recruiting and scouting helped propel Duke to 14 20-win seasons and an ACC-record seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments from 2005-11.
Considered by many as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation, Wasielewski oversaw the development of 17 All-Americans, four ACC Players of the Year and more than 20 All-ACC honorees. He has been a part of four ACC Coach of the Year staffs and four East Region Coach of the Year staffs.
Prior to his time in Durham, Wasielewski was the head coach at St. Bonaventure from 1992-98. He was instrumental in building the Bonnies’ volleyball program into one of the Atlantic 10’s more competitive squads. Wasielewski spent two seasons with the Bonnies as an assistant coach from 1990-91 and earned his master’s degree in education from St. Bonaventure in 1992.
Wasielewski played collegiately at Penn State where he was a two-time team captain and a member of two Final Four squads in 1987 and 1989. He later served as a student assistant for the Nittany Lions’ women’s program in the fall of 1989 when they went 34-7 and won the Big Ten Championship. Wasielewski competed in both the 1986 and 1987 U.S. Olympic Festivals, earning a bronze medal in both appearances. He earned his degree in economics from Penn State in 1990.
He and his wife Jennifer have two children, a son, Jack, and a daughter, Jenna.