Melissa Grubbs has spent the past 11 years serving as an assistant volleyball coach at her alma mater Ursuline Academy.
Now Grubbs gets a chance to help build her own program.
Grubbs was named De La Salle’s head volleyball coach Wednesday.
“Leaving after 11 years is always tough, and my daughter is at Ursuline, so it will always be true to my heart because I’m an alum,” Grubbs said. “But it’s a career move, and I’m ready to take that next step.”
Grubbs replaces Alan Segal, whom Athletic Director Tony Bonura said “is not returning next year.”
Segal spent the past three seasons as De La Salle’s coach, leading the Cavaliers to the playoffs the past three seasons.
“We are excited that Melissa is joining our school,” Bonura said. “We think her hire makes a statement about the seriousness of the direction we want to take, not only, De La Salle volleyball, but our entire girls athletic program. She’s well respected in the volleyball community as a great teacher of the game and a terrific role model for girls.
“Our girls are looking forward to having her as their coach.”
De La Salle reached the second round of the playoffs this past season. The school’s best finish was in 2011 when they lost to Notre Dame in the championship match.
Grubbs, who has 17 years of coaching experience with Blue Crab Volleyball Club, is hoping to get the Uptown school back into title contention.
“It’s been on a little bit of a roller coaster the last 10 years or so,” Grubbs said. “There is potential there. I’m hoping to put the best team on the court and compete. I’m looking to build a program. Hopefully build and grow.”
Grubbs has been a part of three state championships during her time as an Ursuline assistant. She is also part owner of the Motiv8 Volleyball Club in Morgan City.
She remembers three years ago when De La Salle and Ursuline competed in the same district and were rivals.
“I want to get these girls together and build a program to make some headway and progress,” she said. “The first year will be them figuring out me and me learning them and putting our best foot forward . We just want to make progress and just try to keep working up the ladder this year. Everybody’s goal of course is to get to the Pontchartrain Center.”
De La Salle’s last trip to the Pontchartrain Center was in 2014 when the team lost in the quarterfinals.