BROCKTON, Mass. ---- Massasoit Athletics Director Julie Mulvey announced the addition of women's volleyball to the fall slate of sports for the Warriors, starting in the fall of 2019. With a new sport, comes a new head coach, as Massasoit has selected Patricia Francis-Ryans to lead the volleyball program.
Volleyball returns to Massasoit after a 33-year hiatus, having been a sport for the Warriors from 1983-86. During that short span, the Warriors captured the Region 21 Championship in 1984, with coincidentally, Mulvey as the head coach.
"We are very thankful to President Glickman and the administration for allowing us to add volleyball to our list of collegiate programs," Mulvey said. "Volleyball is a sport that we have received plenty of interest in over the past few years and is another great opportunity for students to get involved in intercollegiate athletics here at Massasoit. We have the perfect facility to offer volleyball and excited for the season to start this coming fall."
With Massasoit's addition, a total of seven Region 21 schools are now offering women's volleyball as an NJCAA sponsored sport.
Taking the reins and starting a collegiate program from scratch is something Patricia Francis-Ryans, a former two-sport (volleyball, basketball) Division I student-athlete at Mississippi Valley State University, is all-to-familiar with. A resume packed full of coaching experience, at the college, high school, Junior Olympics and AAU ranks, Francis-Ryans started the first volleyball program at Crichton College in Memphis, Tenn., back in 2007.
The NAIA Division I program produced a 13-win turnaround from her first to third season.
"It is a fantastic opportunity to step into this role here at Massasoit," Francis-Ryans said. "Starting a program is something very familiar to me and I plan on it being a smooth transition. I am ready to get out there and start recruiting and spreading the word about Massasoit volleyball for the upcoming season."
Following the 2010 season, she left Crichton to serve as a physical education teacher and head volleyball coach at Kingsbury High School in Memphis for three seasons.
Since then, Francis-Ryans, a Connecticut native, and her family moved back to New England for her current job as a Student Engagement Counselor at Excel High School located in South Boston. She has continued coaching Junior Olympic Volleyball, most recently in Hanover, Mass., with Alliance Volleyball. She has coached in the Junior Olympic ranks for a total of 15 years.
"Patricia is the perfect person to lead our volleyball team," Mulvey said. "Her coaching experience at a number of different levels and having started a college program before makes her the exact person we want leading the Warriors."
Francis-Ryans was a two-sport student-athlete in volleyball and basketball at Mississippi Valley State University. She earned all-conference accolades in both sports her senior season and served as a graduate assistant coach following her playing days.
At MVSU she earned both a Bachelor's of Science in Health, Physical Education and Recreation and a Master's of Science in Criminal Justice. Prior to hear time at MVSU, she earned her Associate's Degree in liberal arts from Capital Community College in Hartford, Conn.
During her time in Memphis, she also earned a second Master's of Science degree in Education from Freed-Hardeman University.
"I am looking forward to building a family atmosphere here at Massasoit," she said. "I could not be more excited to hit the ground running to start this program and build it from the ground up."
Patricia resides in Randolph with her husband Ernie Ryans and two children, Justin and Jason.