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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:

Laney Ashcroft

Playing experience: 

NASA Volleyball Club - 4+ years

RCVC - 2 years 

Huntsville High Volleyball - 4 years 

7A All Area (2020-2021)

Best Defensive Award (2020-2021, 2018-2019)


Coaching Experience: 

Huntsville High School clinics - 3 years 

NASA clinics - October 2020



Currently attends the UAH College of Nursing 

CPR/ Basic Life Support

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

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

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

Shelby Fox

Playing Experience:

Sparkman High 2009-2013

Starting Varsity Setter all 4 years

 All Area 2011 and 2012 


Faulkner State CC 2013-2015 

Starting setter / and Opposite hitter/ blocker 

2013 - 2nd conference team  

          - Most assists record 


Coaching : 

Buckhorn High Assistant Varsity Coach (2017-2021) 

RCVC (2020-2021) 


“You can’t always be the most talented person in the room, but you can be the most competitive.” - Pat Summit 


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

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)


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


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

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)

                    - 9th place finish at AAU Nationals (2021)

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)