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About the Coaches

Connie Nicholson: Club Founder, Director & Coach

Playing Experience

          Wake Forest University

Coaching Experience

          45+ years coaching experience (Collegiate, high school, junior high,
           and club)
          Coach of the Year honors at high school and college levels
          NAIA National Championships in 1989 (finished 13th)
          Founded NASA program in 1990
          15 Regional Championships
          2 top 5 national finishes


Holly Richards: Co Director and Coach

Playing Experience
Westminster Christian Academy
 - Multiple MVP's of tournaments
Wallace State Community College- 1yr
 - Multiple all-tournament teams
  -NJCCA Region XI All-Region team
  -All-American Honorable Mention


University of Alabama
 -All-SEC 2nd team
 -Multiple blocking records
 -Top 10 list of single season total blocks
 -Captain her senior season

Coaching Experience
American Christian Academy (Tuscaloosa)
 -Asst. Coach to final four

Tuscaloosa Volleyball Club
 -Board member and coach

Assistant Coach at UAH- 2yrs
Assistant Coach at Mississippi State University- 2yrs
McGill-Toolen Catholic High School
 -Won the 2004 Class 6A AHSAA State Championship

Westminster Christian Academy
 -2010 team had a Class 2A 3rd place finish in the state tournament
 - Multiple Area Championships and Runner-Up finishes
 -Huntsville Metro Coach of the Year

NASA Volleyball Club
 -Multiple top 10 finishes in National Qualifiers and top 25 finishes in the USA Volleyball National Tournaments.
- Multiple tournament wins across varying age groups
- Lead coach for positional training

24+ years of experience coaching
Multiple camps during the summers such as University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee and UAB as well as hosting her own

Certifications: CPR & First Aid, IMPACT, SafeSport, Positive Coaching Alliance I, II, III and Erin's Law


Kelly Emerson: Co Director and Coach

Playing Experience
NASA Volleyball Club - 5-years
Grissom High School
- 4-year varsity starter
             - 2 AHSAA State Championships
             - 2-time AHSAA All-State

Mississippi State University - Setter

Coaching Experience
NASA - since 2002, with 9 regional championships, 1 top 5
national finish
Randolph School - High School Volleyball Coach  
(2018- Current)


Jennifer McKannan - NASA South Director

Playing Experience

NASA Volleyball Club - 3 years
Grissom High School - 4 years
            - State Runner-up '05 | Elite 8 '06 | All Area, All Region | 2006 All Metro Player of the Year
Selected for North/South All Star Team
Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) - 4 years 
 - SCAC Defensive Player of the Year '10 | 2011
                     - Female Athlete of the Year 
                     - All Time Career Digs Leader
                      - Inducted to the BSC Hall of Fame

Coaching Experience

NASA - since 2014
Randolph High School Varsity Head Coach 1yr
Grissom High School JV Coach 2011-2016
Birmingham Southern College Satellite Camps - 2 years
Judy Green Volleyball Camp - 3 years
Birmingham Southern College Assistant Coach 2018-2020


Erin's Law, SafeSport, IMPACT, PCA I

NASA Coaches are listed in alphabetical order:

Melissa Baswell (NASA South)

Melissa grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. She went to high school at Oak Grove High School. She went on to attend Huntingdon College in Montgomery and played volleyball there. While playing at Huntingdon, Melissa received her degree in education.

She is currently in her 8th year of teaching and 4th year as the head volleyball coach.

Melissa has 10 years of experience coaching club volleyball and 6 years of coaching school. This is Melissa's first year coaching with NASA South. 

Kayla Belser

Playing Experience: 10+ years

Cordova High School (2003 – 2007)
Middle Hitter
All Area (2007)
Eagle Elite Player of the year (2006 & 2007)
MVP 2007

Judson College (2007 – 2008)
Middle Hitter
Ranked 10th in the state for blocks NAIA (2007)

HVBA (2010 – 2011)

Coaching Experience: 6 years

Lakewood Recreational League Head Coach (Assist. 1yr – Head Coach 3yrs)
County Tourney Champs 2007

Cordova High School JV & Varsity Head Coach (2016 – 2017)
Area runner – ups
Regionals 2017

Sparkman Middle School Head Coach (2018 – Present)

Erin’s Law
CPR/First Aid
Positive Coaching

Donnie Bennett (NASA South)

Playing Experience

University of Montevallo Men's Club Volleyball (2 years)

Plays competitively throughout the southeast in indoor, beach, and grass.

Coaching Experience

3 years with NASA

Cece Blanchard

Playing Experience 
Madison Academy High School
  • 2 time state championship runner-up – 2012, 2013 
  • All-State First Team
  • All-Area volleyball team three times
  • All-region volleyball team 
NASA Volleyball Club
  • 4 years
Union University (TN)
  • OH, middle, and Right side hitter – 4 yrs
Coaching Experience 
  • West Tennessee Elite Volleyball Club – Assistant Coach 2018
  • Union University – Student Assistant 2018
  • NASA - 2019
  • Volunteer Assistant at UAH (2019)
  • Current Assistant Volleyball Coach at UAH (2020)
Erin's Law
Positive Coaching Alliance I,II,III
Currently plays competitive Volleyball for a Women's Team that has qualified for the USAV Nationals
35th (2019)

Jackie Boohaker (NASA South)

Coaching Experience

  • NASA South – 2015-present
  • John Carroll Catholic High School – Junior Varsity Head Coach 2013-2017
  • St. Rose Academy – Middle School Head Coach (7th-8th grades) 2008-2012
  • Team Sting Volleyball Club – Head Coach (12U) - 2011
  • Tuscaloosa Volleyball Club – Assistant Coach (16U) – 2000
  • Brookwood High School, Tuscaloosa, AL - Varsity Assistant Coach – 2000

Playing Experience

  • Competitive adult indoor, grass, and sand volleyball tournaments/leagues
  • 2017 Emerald Coast Volleyball Fudpucker 4 Player Women’s BB Champions
  • 2016 Emerald Coast Fall Classic Best of the Beach Coed A Female Champion
  • 2016 Angry Dragon Women’s Doubles BB Champions
  • High School – John Carroll Catholic High School three-year varsity letter
Erin’s Law
Positive Coaching Alliance

Grace Burgess (NASA South)

Playing Experience:
• LaGrange College 2005-2008
• B.S. in Early Childhood Education (2009) 
• Conference Libero of the Year- 2007 and 2008 
• Individual career record holder at LaGrange in two categories: Total Digs (1,557) and Digs per Set (4.09)
Coaching Experience:
• Volunteer Assistant Coach- LaGrange College, 2009
• Alabama Juniors- 2010-2016 
• Spain Park High School- 2013-2015
• Thompson High School- 2015- present
M.Ed in Collaborative Education (2018)- University of Montevallo

Beverly Campbell (NASA South)

Beverly grew up in Jemison, Alabama and went to Jemison High School. Beverly is currently working on her bachelor's degree in special education. She is currently in her 4th year at Jemison Middle as a paraprofessional.

This is Beverly's first year coaching club volleyball but she has 5 years of experience with coaching in the school system. This is Beverly's first year coaching with NASA South. 

Bianca Richardson Ceasor

Playing Experience:

Colonial Forge High School (Stafford, VA) 2004-2008
4 year varsity starter
Record Holder for Blocks, Kills, Hitting Percentage
2 time All-Area Athlete of the Year
2 time Commonwealth District Player of the Year 
2 time Northwest Regional Player of the Year
1st team All State
Selected for Virginia All Star Volleyball team
Virginia State MVP
Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club 2003-2007
Metro American Volleyball Club 2007- 2008
American University (Washington D.C.) 2008-2011
Alabama A&M University (Huntsville, AL) 2012 

Coaching Experience:
Randolph School- Head Middle School Volleyball Coach 2018 - Present        
Oakwood University Head Coach 2013 – Present
NASA 2015 – Present 
Alabama Elite Volleyball Club 2013 - 2015 
Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club 2011 - 2012
American University Volleyball Camps – 3 years
Georgetown University Volleyball Camp- 2 year
United States Naval Academy Volleyball Camps- 1 year
George Mason University Volleyball Camps- 1 year  

Certifications: IMPACT, Positive Coaching, Erin's Law, CPR & First Aid

Melissa Cobb Gilbert (NASA South)

Playing Experience:
• Played Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball for Providence High School and New Albany High School in Indiana. OH/S/MB in volleyball. 
• High School Hoosier Hills All Conference 1986, 1987
• Indiana 1st Team All State in Volleyball, 1987 and All State Softball, 1987, 1988 
• Played for the Senshi Volleyball Club, Louisville, KY 
• Top 100 recruits in volleyball 1988 
• Accepted volleyball scholarship to UAB (1988-1991): 4 Year All Conference:  Sunbelt Conference 1988, 1989, 1990, Great Midwest Conference 1991, Sunbelt Academic Honor Roll 1990, AVCA All South region team, 1990, UAB Career Leader in Kills (2029) and Aces (388), 4th in Digs (1533), 5th in Attack percentage 1000 Kill/Dig Club, Ranked Nationally in career aces
• Fred Sington Award, Alabama Amateur Female Athlete of the Year, 1992
• Bartow Scholarship, 1991-1992 
Coaching Experience:
• Nasa South-Head Coach 
• Head Volleyball Coach, Kingwood Christian School 7-12th grade teams. March 2018-present
• SPVB October 2009-July 2017: SPVB Assistant Director, SPVB Volleyball Master Coach , Youth Academy Director, SPVB Travel Director (Staff/players), Head Coach 15 National team. Coached teams ages 12-18
• Volleyball training in Japan October 2015, Beavers Volleyball Club, Setoku HIgh School, and University
• Assistant Volleyball Coach, UAB 1992-1995 
• Head JV coach, Pelham High School, 1997-2000 
• 29 years (combined) Head Club Coach for Sojourners Volleyball Club, Alabama Juniors and SPVB (formerly TSVBC) Master Coach. Coached ages 12-18. 
• Private Lessons-present
• Summer Camps
• Impact Certified, Completed Positive Coaching Alliance Coach Certification through AAU
Originally from New Albany, IN, married since 1994 and have 4 boys. 

Hannah Glasgow

Assistant varsity coach at Huntsville High School
Special education teacher at Huntsville High School

Previous coached at: Gardendale, Clay Chalkville, and Mountain Brook Jr. High.

2nd year at NASA

Wendy Holderfield

Coaching Experience
NASA since 2007
NASA Skillbuilders since 2011 (renamed NASA Academy in 2019)
NASA Beach 2015-2017
Camp coach: University of AL volleyball camps, NASA camps, & Randolph School vball camps
USAV High Performance Coach since 2013 including National Team Training Block in Anaheim, CA, multiple High Performance Championships, and 2015 A2-Gold Medal Champions. 
Randolph School - Middle School Volleyball Coach 2010-2013
Covenant Christian Academy - JV and Varsity Assistant Coach 2012-2017
Huntsville City Rec League - 2006-2012

Organizations / Certifications
USAV IMPACT and Beach IMPACT Certified, AHSAA, Physical Therapist
Member AVCA  2013-2016
Positive Coaching Alliance
SafeSport Coach
Erin's Law
3D Coaching

Skylar Holmes

Playing Experience
NASA Volleyball Club (HSV)
Smith Lake Juniors
Arab High School:

All-Area Team
All-Region Team
All-State Team 

Coaching Experience

NASA Volleyball Club since 2019
4 years high school clinics
1 year youth club volleyball

KP Lillie

Playing Experience:
Graduated from Thompson HS 2016
Started playing volleyball at age 11
Played on a school team for 6 years
Played on a club team for 5 years
Tennessee Wesleyan University 2 years

Coaching Experience:
Club Unite, Knoxville, TN 2 years
Thompson HS 9th Grade Team, Assistant Coach 1 year

Jamiee Freeman Moran

Playing Experience
NASA -  6 years 

Sparkman high school varsity - 2005-2008 
While at Sparkman all metro honorable mention, all county and all area, led team in kills and digs

Georgia State University:

  • Starter all 4 years
  • Defensive player of the week and member of all rookie team (09)
  • All tournament team Wisconsin cowgirl tournament (11)
  • All team Georgia State tournament (12)
  • 2Led team in aces
  • Ranked 7th in school history in digs and 10th for attack attempts

Coaching Experience:
2 years assistant coach for Tsunami Volleyball club (2011-2012)
1 year assistant coach Alabama Elite (2013)
2 years assistant coach at Wallace State (2014-2015)
JV coach for James Clemens High School (2015-2018)
Arab High School Varsity Head Coach (2019-2020)

Current Decatur High School Varsity Head Coach (2021)

Positive Coaching  
Erin's Law
CPR & First Aid

Currently plays competitive Volleyball for a Women's Team that has qualified for the USAV Nationals
6th (2018)
35th (2019)


Cassie Mullinax

Playing Experience:
I first played club/travel volleyball with the NASA program and I look forward to working with and coaching with NASA in the 2019-2020 season and for many more!:
Winston County High School Graduate 2008
  • State Runner Up 2003, 2007
  • All State Tournament Selection (2003,2005,2007)
Wallace State CC 2008-09, 2009-2010
  • MVP of State Tournament 2010
  • Former Career Record Holder for Assists
Troy State University Graduate 
Coaching Experience:
Club Level—11 years (Ages 11, 12, 13, 15, 16,17,18)
Smith Lake Juniors—10 years
Net Force Academy—1 year
Arab Jr. High School—2 years
  • Winning the first county championship in the school’s history in back-to-back years
Arab High School—4 years
  • Final Four Participant for 3 of the 4 years
Bob Jones High School - Varsity Head Coach (2019)
I have taught and coached players of all levels including 11 and under club thru 18 and under, Junior College, NAIA, DII and DI.
My Dad (Bobby—Jasper) and my Uncle (Randy—Wallace) have influenced my coaching/teaching philosophy.

Jacqueline Richards

Playing Experience
NASA Volleyball Club - 2 years
Westminster Christian Academy - Team captain; MVP 2 years
Snead State Junior College - Team Captain and All-region

Coaching Experience
21 Years
Many top finishes
2018 NASA Bash Champions, AAU Birmingham Super Regional  Champions, President's Day 2nd
2017 NASA Bash Champions, AAU Birmingham Super Regional
Champions, Rally Challenge 2nd
2014 2nd AAU West Coast Volleyball Nationals, 2nd AAU Volley One
Grand Prix
2013 AAU Super regional champs in Nashville and Birmingham,
Bluegrass Champions, 2nd in New Orleans AAU Super Regionals and 2nd SRVA Regionals
2007 2nd place Big South Qualifier
2006 team finished 3rd at USA Nationals   
Regional champions 2005, 2006, 2007

Organizations / Certification
Positive Coaching Alliance
Erin's Law
Graduated Logan College with Doctorate of Chiropractic in 1997, Private 
practice 21 years


Patti Schroder (NASA South)

Coaching Experience

Head Coach Evangel Christian School Volleyball JV and Varsity (2016 to 2020)
Asst Coach for Oak Mountain High School JV team 2021
Coach for NASA South 2019 & 2020 seasons
Coach for Alabama Aces Club Volleyball teams, 13-1 team 2016, 14-1 team 2017
UAB Volleyball Camps contributing Coach- Serving, Libero, 2016 summer
Playing Experience
Multiple Co-Ed City Teams and Club teams 1986-1989 UAB Blazers Volleyball Team 1985 & 1986
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ Basketball Team 1983-84 season Pima Community College Tucson, AZ Volleyball Team 1983-84 seasons Cholla High School Tucson, AZ 1979-1980 JV, 1980-1981 Varsity
UAB Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee, Nov 2018
Retirement of Volleyball Jersey #4 UAB Volleyball 1987 Co-SIDA Academic All-American Second Team 1986-1987 Sun Belt Female Athlete of the Year 1985, 1986 seasons All-Sun Belt Conference Teams 1985, 1986
 Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll 1985, 1986
Mervyn Goldstein Memorial Scholarship 1986-87
All-Tournament Team selection 3x during 1985 season, MVP of 2 Tournaments,
UAB Season Record holder 7th highest Assists 1985-2018 UAB Season Record holder 3rd highest Aces 1985-2018 UAB Career Record holder 7th highest Assists 1985-2018

Other Activities
Mom of 2 daughters, ages 18 & 20

Julia Shoemake (NASA South)

Playing Experience:
Birmingham-Southern College - Sophomore Defensive Specialist
The Randolph School - ​​​​Huntsville, AL

​Played volleyball and basketball at The Randolph School where she earned four varsity ​letters … earned all-state honors (2014-16) … helped team win 5A State Championship ​and was named all-tournament MVP (2015) …  member of NASA 151 National Power ​Team (2014-16) … honor roll member all through high school … member of National ​Honor Society and French National Honor Society.

​Coaching Experience:
NASA South

SaVanna Strickland (NASA South)

Playing Experience:
- 4 years at Hoover High 
-6 years of club at Alabama Juniors 
- 2 years at Reinhardt University 

Coaching Experience:
-1 season at Calera High School 2013
-2 seasons for Southern Select Volleyball 
-2 seasons at Helena High School Assistant Varsity Coach 
-1 season for Club Crimson

Kelly Pybas (NASA South)

Kelly Pybas is from Pelham, Alabama. She started playing club volleyball in 7th grade. Club ball helped Kelly make the 8th grade team at Riverchase Middle School. Kelly was on the JV team her freshmen year at Pelham High School and the Varsity team for the next three years at Pelham High as a Defensive Specialist/Libero. Kelly went on to play at the University of Mobile as a Defensive Specialist and eventually transferred back home to UAB (Go Blazers!) to focus on academics.

This will be her second season coaching with Nasa South and her 5th season coaching club volleyball. She also helped with the 12’s clinics for Club Bomba during her time in Mobile, AL.

Kelly currently works for UAB Medicine. She still loves to play the sport and is actively involved in the adult volleyball community (Sand and Indoor). She very excited to see what the 2021 season brings!

Hannah Thomas (NASA South)

Playing Experience:
Huntsville High School Varsity Middle Hitter: 4 years
NASA Volleybal Outside/Opposite Hitter: 5 years
Lubbock Christian University 6-rotation Outside Hitter: 4 years Birmingham Adult Beach Volleyball: 2 years
Coaching Experience:
LCU Summer Camps: 4 years
Next Level Volleyball Club: 1 year NASA South Volleyball Club: 2 years

Tori Thomas

Playing Experience:

Hillcrest High School Varsity Starter 2004-2007
           All Area Tournament Team
           TVC (Tuscaloosa Volleyball Club) National 2004-2007 
Judson College 2007-2008
Scholarship player
            Freshman Captain; starting setter
University of Alabama Women’s Club Team 2008-2009
            Starting setter
            Won 1st place at Nationals in Kansas City MO
Stillman College 2008-2009
Scholarship player
Currently plays competitive Volleyball HVBA in BB league

Coaching Experience

Hillcrest High School Varsity assistant under Camila Redmond 
Waterford Mott HS; Waterford MI: Head JV Coach & Varsity Assistant 3 years
Oxford High School; Oxford MI:  Head Varsity Coach 2 years
          -District runner-ups
Oxford Middle School; 8th Grade Gold Coach
Legacy Volleyball Club: Head 17’s Coach 3 years
Ran many camps and clinics; 8 Years coaching 
RCVC; Huntsville- Head 172’s Coach
NASA Head Coach - (2018- Current)

Certifications: Positive Coaching, IMPACT, CPR

Tanequa Whitman

Playing Experience

Huntsville High School

  • 3 time State Champion 5A/6A (2005-2007)
  • Named the Co-MVP as a senior
  • Selected to the All-State First Team for four consecutive years
  • All-Area and All-Region Volleyball team for four consecutive years
  • All-Area MVP (2005)
  • Named 2006 Prep Volleyball Top 10 Sophomore of the Year
  • Named the 2005 Prep Volleyball National Freshman of the Year
  • Selected to the North & South All-Star Volleyball Team

Shorter University (GA) 

  • Starting Libero - 3 yrs
  • Captain - 2012 and 2013
  • SSAC Conference Newcomer of the Year 
  • Southern Region Player of the Year
  • 1st Team All-American 
  • Top 3 All time Digs Leader
  • Single Season Dig Leader
  • Led team in Aces 2012,2013

NASA Volleyball Club - 7 years
Shorter University - 3 years
Tennessee State - 1 year

Coaching Experience:
          University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Assistant (2021- Current)
         Shorter University - Graduate Assistant 2014
          NASA coach since 2011 (Head Coach since 2015)
                       - Lead coach for DS/Libero positional training
                       - Coached an AAU All-American (2019)
                       - 5th place finish at AAU Nationals (2019)

2016 AVCA Diversity Coach Award Winner


  • Positive Coaching Alliance I, II & II 
  • Erin's Law

Currently plays competitive Volleyball for a Women's Team that has qualified for the USAV Nationals
6th (2018)
35th (2019)