Emmanuel tabs former King opposite Friddle as new head coach

Photo courtesy of Emmanuel athletics and Palm Beach Atlantic athletics

A former All-ConfCarolinas player will return to the conference as a head coach.

Emmanuel announced recently that it hired James Friddle to be its new head coach for the 2019 season.

“We’re excited to have James take over the men’s volleyball program.” athletics director Nate Moorman said in a statement. “He comes from a very successful program at Palm Beach Atlantic and has had some phenomenal mentors during his coaching tenure. We’re confident James will be a great addition because of his volleyball background and commitment to Emmanuel’s core mission of Faith, Learning, and Living.”

Friddle was a two-time all-conference selection and as a junior in 2011 led King to the ConfCarolinas championship match. He also remained the Tornado’s career kills leader until 2017.

After his playing career, Friddle spent five years coaching the Palm Beach Atlantic women’s volleyball team and elevating from a graduate assistant coach to the interim head coach. The Division II program with Friddle on the sidelines reached the NCAA Tournament five times, including advancing to the 2015 NCAA Tournament finals.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity President [Ronald] White and Nate are giving to me,” Friddle said in a statement. “I’m excited the hiring committee could see the vision and direction I hope to lead this team. There’s a lot of talent on the current team, and I cannot wait to get started. My family and I feel very blessed that God has given us this new chapter in our lives.”

Emmanuel finished the 2018 season in sixth place in the ConfCarolinas. The team, though, was ineligible for the conference tournament because it is transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division II membership.

Among the starters returning for the Lions in 2019 includes middle attacker Don Thompson, who led the ConfCarolinas with a .397 attack percentage and led the team averaging 2.27 kills per game last season.

Friddle succeeds Chad Nelson as Emmanuel’s head coach. Nelson departed Emmanuel in April to become the new head coach at Greenville University, a Division III men’s volleyball team.