Belmont Abbey hires recent all-conference player Albrecht to be head coach

The best player in Belmont Abbey’s program history will take over the team.

Belmont Abbey announced Tuesday that it hired former all-conference outside attacker Nolan Albrecht as its new men’s volleyball head coach.

Albrecht as a senior was a finalist for the 2016 Karch Kiraly Award and had a nation-best 5.03 kills per game average while hitting .350. In addition, Albrecht was a three-time All-Conference Carolinas selection and was named the 2015 Conference Carolinas Comeback Player of the Year after returning to the court from a one-year absence because of an injury.

Along with his playing career, Albrecht served as an assistant coach with the Belmont Abbey women’s volleyball after graduating last year. He also was the Belmont Abbey men’s volleyball recruiting coordinator and interim assistant coach following the school and former head coach Sean Manzi parting ways in the middle of the season.

“Nolan was an exemplary student, decorated athlete, and tremendous all-around ambassador during his college career and has done a tremendous job as an assistant with both the men’s and women’s programs,” Belmont Abbey athletics director Stephen Miss said in a statement. “We have every confidence in coach Albrecht’s leadership going forward and know he will do a fine job with the formation and development of the young men in our program.”

The Crusaders with Albrecht on the sidelines finished the regular season in fifth place in the Conference Carolinas and lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals.

Belmont Abbey has a majority of starters returning for the 2018 season, including freshman outside attacker Liam Maxwell who led the Crusaders and was among the conference leaders averaging 2.64 kills per game.

“I’m very grateful and excited for the privilege to be the head coach of the men’s volleyball team at Belmont Abbey College,” Albrecht said in a statement. “As an alumni of the Abbey, I believe that the young men I have the honor to coach are among the finest and strongest student-athletes I’ve seen at this level. They work hard, they work smart, and they are hungry for success.”