Tori Bartels returns as the leader of the Faulkner volleyball program. In her time at the helm she has compiled an overall record of 121-147 and led the Lady Eagles to consecutive appearances in the National Christian College Athletic Association national tournament in the 2005 and 2006.
Bartels brought to Faulkner a wealth of volleyball coaching experience, having led the program at Cactus High School in Glendale, Arizona, to a three-year record of 67-34. In addition, she spent three volleyball seasons coaching at the elite club level, working with girls ages 16-18. She amassed a dominating 119-59 record while coaching in the summer club program.
As impressive as her coaching credentials are, coach Bartels brings an equally impressive collegiate playing resume to her job. After playing one season at Troy University, Bartels transferred to Freed-Hardeman, where her career took off. In 1998 she was selected the program's "Top Newcomer" and in both 2000 and 2001 she was named the team's best defensive player. Following her junior and senior seasons, she was selected second team all-conference and was also a three-time member of the conference's all-academic team.
Coach Bartels earned a bachelor's degree in Arts and Humanities from Freed- Hardeman in 2002. She has been married to her husband, Ryan, for ten years and is a member of the Landmark Church of Christ.
Jessica Long is entering her first season as the Lady Eagles' assistant coach.
The native of Crestview, Fla., makes the transition into the coaching role after spending two seasons as one of the program's middle blockers. Her familiarity with the coaching staff, players and opposition should prove invaluable in helping the team achieve its lofty goals.
"I've played alongside the returning student-athletes," Long said. "I've faced the same opponents and I know how our girls think. I've also had the opportunity to work with the incoming players at tryouts, so there's definitely an advantage in being familiar with the players."
When asked about the shift from player to coach, head coach Tori Bartels was optimistic.
"Any time there's a direct change like this, I think it takes some getting used to," Bartels said. "So far, the response from the team has been overwhelmingly positive. The girls know that she's serious about the game and that she wants what's best for the program. At the end of the day there might be a few hiccups, but nothing more than you'd run into with any coaching change."
While at Faulkner Long was a two-time Southern States Athletic Conference all-academic team member and was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma chapter of the National College Athletic Honor Society. Long helped coach the Faulkner Juniors spring camps for two years and assisted Bartels with numerous skills and team camps this summer.
Before transferring to Faulkner her junior year she played two seasons at Pensacola State College and helped the team to the conference tournament both seasons.
Long played four years at Crestview High School and was selected to play in the East-West All-Star Game following her senior season.
She graduated cum laude from Faulkner with a bachelor's degree in counseling in May of 2012.