Ashley Preston has been appointed the seventh women’s
volleyball head coach in Cal State Fullerton history, Athletic
Director Jim Donovan announced Thursday.
Preston comes to Cal State Fullerton after serving as
women’s volleyball head coach at Coppin State University for
the past three years. In that short time, Preston became the
all-time winningest coach in the program’s history. In each
of her three years with the Eagles, the team advanced to the
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament, advancing to the
championship for the first time in program history in 2013.
“It’s a beautiful day in Southern California and a
beautiful day for Cal State Fullerton,” Donovan said.
“We had an excellent candidate pool and ultimately we hired
an individual that has been a head coach at two other colleges;
Spelman College and most recently Coppin State. She has remarkable
accomplishments in her young career. Bottom line, she’s one
of the rising stars in women’s volleyball. She has great
intellect, charisma and work ethic and she’s made a habit of
setting school records.”
In 2014, Preston led the Eagles to 14 victories, the second most
single-season win total in program history. Five players were named
to the All-MEAC volleyball team and 10 student-athletes were
selected to the MEAC All-Academic Team, the most of any school in
Preston, the 10th head coach in Coppin State history, led the
Eagles to a school-record 15 overall victories and eight conference
wins in 2013. The Eagles won 10 straight home matches and recorded
the program’s first playoff victory since 1992, eventually
advancing to the MEAC championship match.
In her first season at Coppin State in 2012, Preston led the
Eagles to the MEAC tournament for the first time since 2006.
Prior to her stint at Coppin State, Preston landed her first
head coaching job in 2011, leading Spelman College to nine
victories, which established a school record for wins in a single
Preston got her start in coaching as an assistant coach at
Morgan State University in 2008. She served in that capacity for
two years under head coach Ramona Riley-Bozier. Preston moved on to
become an assistant coach at Loyola University (Maryland) in 2010
under head coach Scott Pennewill.
Preston is a 2008 graduate of Morgan State University where she
ranks as one of the top players in Morgan State history. She was a
three-time First Team All-MEAC selection from 2004-06 and is the
Bears all-time leader in digs with 2,066. She also owns the top
three marks in Morgan State history for digs in a season. During
her tenure the Bears advanced to the MEAC Tournament championship
match in 2006.
Off the court Preston was equally impressive. A native of Las
Vegas, Nev., Preston was a three-time recipient of the MEAC
Commissioner’s All-Academic Award and garnered Arthur Ashe
Scholar’s first team honors as a junior. Following her junior
season Preston also earned the Elijah Rowe Award, which goes to the
female student-athlete with the highest grade point average at
Preston graduated in May of 2008 with a bachelor’s degree
in telecommunications and was honored that summer as Morgan
State’s representative for the MEAC Woman of the Year Award.
She earned a Master of Arts in Publications Design from the
University of Baltimore in 2011.
Press Conference Quotes
Cal State Fullerton Women’s Volleyball Coach
On her coaching philosophy and the job ahead
It’s just to give those girls over there the best Division
I experience they could possibly have. That first starts in
the classroom. I’m very big about GPA’s and I take
pride in that and I love when my teams take pride in that. I think
that’s very important. Along with that is being a part of the
community, on campus as well as around the community. And then
it’s also just winning. Working as a team, as a family and
one unit to really come together and win. There’s a lot at
stake when it comes to taking this position and I’m just so
excited for it and I really want to see these girls; they know they
have the tools to win. It’s a good core group of girls and I
feel like if we work hard, if we fight, and if we play for each
other then we’ll really be successful here at Cal State
On the appeal of the job at Cal State Fullerton and her
The diversity. I love a school that’s diverse. It also
appealed to me because it’s the West. California is a great
bed for volleyball and for volleyball talent. The talent here
is just amazing and I tried to get kids from California. Also being
a state institution, I love being at state institutions. And what
really solidified it for me was looking and seeing the growth. I
looked at the team and knew they were very young and I knew they
would be read to go after it and try to make some things
On her coaching style
What you see is what you get. I’m very honest. I like to
smile; I love teaching and guiding kids. Also, stats wise, just
really knowing and understanding what the needs are as it relates
to the game. But really, my coaching philosophy is just through
love. One of my mentors; he said ‘players don’t care
what you know until you know that they care.’ And so for me
at the root of athletics and coaching, period, that’s the
biggest thing for me. For them, as long they know I care and they
see I put my heart out for them hopefully it will be reciprocated
and we’re able to make something happen.
How here experience has prepared her for this job
With having a young team, a team that may not be as experienced,
its really on what we do in practice is what’s going to be
important. Making sure practice is detail oriented, goal driven as
well as really working on passing and serve; serve and receive.
Also doing different things. Because we are a shorter team than the
rest of the conference so running fast plays and getting people to
see something different than what they’re accustomed to Cal
State Fullerton seeing. My creativity is what helped me at Spelman
and at Coppin State because they didn’t expect anything so I
love being the underdog. It’s the best. It’s fun to be
on top of the conference but to be the underdog and be underrated.
When they do see this style of volleyball and see Cal State
Fullerton talking their heads off about what’s going on on
the other side, I think we are going to really shake things up and
surprise people with what we can do.
On her long term goals with Fullerton
An NCAA bid. That’s the long term and kind of the short
term of it. Really that’s ultimately what we want to attain
and then from there also go past the first round. Knowing teams
that have done this even within this conference, that is the goal
to have a bid and move on.
On the competition in the Big West Conference
It’s an amazing conference. It’s competitive. You
have great, amazing coaches in this conference and to even stand in
the same position as them, I’m honored and humbled. I know I
have a lot of work ahead of me but its work that I’m used to.
I’m used to being at the bottom and working my way up so
I’m excited to be in this conference. It’s one of the
top conferences and now it’s about getting ready to go to
Preston’s Head Coaching Record
2013 Coppin State