HICKORY, N.C. — Known for sending more than 200 student athletes on to the next level, the Catawba Valley Community College Athletic Department now has a coach that is joining the four-year ranks.
Head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson is stepping down after 11 seasons of leading the Red Hawks to become the head coach of the Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball program. She was officially announced as the ninth head women's volleyball coach for the Bears on Tuesday morning.
"I am going to miss CVCC more than words can say," Hudson said. "I have so many mixed emotions right now. I'm so excited for this new opportunity, but also so sad to be leaving my Red Hawk family."
Taking over the reins of a program that finished 13-9 the season before her arrival, Hudson guided Catawba Valley to a 23-6 mark during her first year as head coach during the 2009-10 season.
From there, Hudson's CVCC volleyball teams won at least 20 games each year (something that hadn't been achieved once prior to her being named CVCC volleyball coach), and she guided the Red Hawks to seven seasons of at least 30 wins, including a program-best 41 wins in the 2016-17 season.
Hudson finishes her tenure at CVCC with a 348-76 record, and the Red Hawks have currently won 143-straight conference matches and 179-straight Region contests — both streaks coming under Hudson.
Catawba Valley Community College reached the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament six times under Hudson (2009, 2012-13, 2016, 2018-19), finishing a program-best fourth during the 2016-17 season.
During her 11-year coaching tenure at CVCC, Hudson coached 39 All-Region performers, eight Region 10 Players of the Year and six NJCAA All-Americans. Twenty-eight of her players moved on to the four-year level with more to come from this past fall's national tournament team.
"A large part of our success has been contingent on what she has done with our volleyball program," said CVCC Athletic Director Nick Schroeder. "I'm excited to see what she can do at the next level. Lenoir-Rhyne is receiving one of the best coaches in the nation at any level. The impact that she has left on not only her players, but her fellow coaches and administrators is immeasurable."
The success of Hudson's programs led the Gardner-Webb grad to individual success. She is a five-time Region 10 Coach of the Year (2012-13, 2015-16, 2019) and a six-time District Coach of the Year winner (2009, 2012-13, 2016, 2018-19).
Hudson's biggest individual achievement came on Nov. 29, 2018 when she was named one of two recipients of the Two-Year College Northeast-Southeast Region Coach of the Year honor by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
She received the award during the Final Four weekend of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship in Minneapolis, Minn. on Dec. 12-16, 2018.
Along with Hudson's departure, long-time CVCC assistant volleyball coach Mark Wimberley will be joining her at Lenoir-Rhyne. Wimberley, who just finished his ninth season with the Red Hawks, was the 2018 AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year for Two-Year Colleges.
"We are grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from everyone in Red Hawk Nation, especially President (Dr. Garrett) Hinshaw, Athletic Director Nick Schroeder and Director of Admissions Laurie Wegner," Hudson said. "Along with my family, assistant coach Mark Wimberley and I are thrilled to begin a new chapter in Bears Volleyball as we build on a solid foundation and pursue a new level of excellence for the future."
The search for the next head volleyball coach at Catawba Valley Community College will begin immediately. The eventual hire will be only the fifth head volleyball coach in Red Hawk program history.