When Amy Bordean decided to step down as Tennessee Temple University volleyball coach after four seasons to give more time to her family, the school stepped up to make the job a full-time position.
In Latonia Allen, Temple got the bonus of an athletic trainer as well as a proven coach.
Allen, 28, is a Pennsylvania native who spent the last four years building the volleyball program at Davis and Elkins College, an NCAA Division II school in rural West Virginia. With minimal resources and only two total scholarships, compared to eight as the Division II maximum for volleyball and the standard for her conference rivals, Allen built the program from eight victories in a season to two 20-win years and a first-round victory in the league tournament.
She also increased the roster size from 10 to 18 with no increase in scholarships, and she organized the first club volleyball program in that area.
Temple, which went 12-23 last season, has similar challenges in funding but some distinct advantages over her former employer, Allen said Tuesday.
"I like taking something small and building it up," she said. "I liked doing that at Davis and Elkins, and I feel this is a lot like that. But I think recruiting will be a lot easier here. It's a beautiful city and there's already a big volleyball club presence here. There we were in the middle of nowhere with a gas station and a McDonald's. The nearest mall was over an hour away.
"I've never been in the South before, but I love this area, and everybody I've met has given me that Southern hospitality you hear so much about."
Allen described herself as "kind of a workaholic" with a lot of energy and passion for her sport. She met Tuesday with several players expected to return for the 2012 season and said they "seem excited about creating positive energy with the volleyball team, too."
Kenrick Liburd, the soccer coach and women's basketball coach, headed the hiring committee. He praised Bordean's work in "stabilizing the program" and said Allen was the ideal choice to take it further.
"I think Latonia has the knowledge of the game, the enthusiasm and the understanding of the game to jump the program to the next level," he said. "The school feels it is taking a huge stride toward where it wants to go athletically by making this a full-time position, and we feel Latonia is the perfect fit."