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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Two new staff members appointed to UC Davis volleyball team


UC Davis volleyball welcomes Nicole Miller, Bryce Williams

The UC Davis volleyball team has a bright few seasons ahead of it with the recent addition of Nicole Miller and Bryce Williams to the coaching staff. Head coach Dan Conners’ contract has also been extended through 2021.

Conners is looking forward to improving all aspects of the UC Davis volleyball program alongside both Miller and Williams.

“We want the program on an upward trend,” Conners said. “So wins, losses, performance, academic performance, what we’re doing in the community. We just want all aspects of the program improving all the time and that’s the primary goal. I think we want players to see that as well and learn from that.”

Conners previously worked with Miller and was excited to bring her on as an assistant coach.

“With Nicole, we worked together briefly in the past,” Conners said. “She had quite a few people talking to her ability as a coach, so then the timing worked out well and it was an opportunity to get her home.”

Miller originally hails from Stockton, Calif., and enjoyed a collegiate athletic career at University of South Carolina from 2002-2005. Miller has spent the last 10 years making a name for herself as a coach and is coming back to northern California after spending two seasons at Clemson University, where she was assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

Miller was first attracted to UC Davis because of the opportunity to work with Conners and Williams, and is excited to start working with, and improving, the UC Davis volleyball program.

“I think working with Dan and Bryce was one of the big factors,” Miller said. “Especially since I’ve had a previous relationship with Dan and I remembered some of the things that he said to players when we were working in Italy and then I had some friends reach out to me about Bryce and they spoke very highly of him. Davis is close to home, which is nice, but I also saw it as an opportunity to help the program grow and be better. I always like a challenge, so I definitely think we can do some really good things here, so I’m excited about it.”

As a neurobiology, physiology and behavior major from the UC Davis class of 2013, Williams was a member of the coaching staff first as a volunteer manager and later as a student assistant. After graduating, Williams worked Northwestern, Montana State, Team USA and as Director of Volleyball Operations at Texas Christian University.  

“I’ve always been an advocate for this program,” Williams said. “Anywhere I’ve gone and coached, I’ve always followed the Big West and where Davis is in the standing and the recruits they have coming in. So I always kept track of this job […] so I’m glad this opportunity has come and I’m excited to, like Dan said, take this program on an upward trend and to be at the top of the Big West. That’s the goal. I think we have a great group of people on staff to do that and accomplish those goals.”
Conners was eager to bring Williams back to UC Davis.

“I think with Bryce, he has a good level of experience,” Conners said. “He wants to be at Davis. He’s an alumni of Davis. [There were] a ton of people of talking about the quality of coach that he is, so it was not a tough thing to bring him back on board.”

Both new additions have already started working with the team. Miller and Williams have been stepping in occasionally to learn about how the team works and operates. The UC Davis volleyball team just finished its spring training period with a final game against Stanford, the defending national champions. Now, Conners is looking forward to working with his new staff for the 2017 season.

“I’m really excited to have both of them here,” Conners said.


Written by: Liz Jacobson — sports@theaggie.org


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