LAKELAND, FL – After one of the most incredible coaching runs in Florida Southern College history, volleyball head coach Jill Stephens has announced that she is stepping down from coaching after 17 years at the helm of the Moccasin volleyball program.
"I cannot even begin to express what it has meant to me to be the leader of this amazing program for the past 17 years," said Stephens. "Lois Webb trusted me to continue the excellence and tradition that makes FSC Volleyball what it is. My heart has been full for these 17 years because of the relationships I have made with some amazing young women who wore the Mocs' jersey, wonderful families who loved and supported this program, fellow coaches who have given their heart and soul to make us great, and boosters and alums who have been there for me every step of the way."
Stephens will continue to serve at Florida Southern as an associate athletic director and the senior woman administrator. She will oversee the scheduling of athletic facilities and serve as the administrator to a number of different sports, while continuing to serve as the department's Title IX coordinator.
"I have also been blessed to work for an incredibly supportive administration throughout my career and I am so grateful for the opportunity Pete Meyer and the rest of the administration is giving me to work alongside them as we impact the future of Florida Southern Athletics."
Stephens, who led the Mocs to an NCAA Division II national runner-up appearance this season, finishes her head coaching career with a record of 396-183 (.684) including a 188-82 record in Sunshine State Conference action.
"Jill has been a remarkable coach and role model during her time at Florida Southern," said Meyer. "She will continue to lead by example as an associate AD and senior woman administrator for many years to come. The entire college community is excited for Jill in her new role."
During her time as the head coach at Florida Southern the Moccasins have made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances, won two Sunshine State Conference championships (2006 and 2017), and won the 2017 NCAA South Region championship.
A former volleyball all-American for the Mocs, Stephens began her coaching career at Florida Atlantic where she spent two seasons as an assistant coach before returning to Florida Southern to join longtime head coach Lois Webb's staff in 1997.
In 2001, Stephens was named as the head coach at her alma mater and helped continue the tradition of success for Moccasin volleyball. In her 17 years as head coach, the Mocs posted 20 or more wins 13 times, including each of her final six seasons.
This past season, Stephens led the Moccasins to a 30-7 record, which included 23-straight victories leading up to the national championship match. The win streak is the second-longest in school history and FSC's runner-up finish in 2017 was its best finish ever at the NCAA Tournament.
Under her guidance, the Moccasins have had 20 AVCA all-America selections and more than 30 all-Sunshine State Conference performers. She was also named as the SSC Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2017, and was the AVCA South Region Coach of the Year this season.
In addition, Stephens has coached 26 AVCA all-South Region honorees and multiple CoSIDA academic all-district selections. Her teams have also consistently been awarded the AVCA Team Academic Award, and her student-athletes have been a mainstay on the SSC Commissioner's Honor Roll.
She retires from coaching with 38 victories against top-25 opponents, and saw her team finish No. 2 in the final AVCA poll of the season in her final year at the helm of the program.
Florida Southern is expected to make an announcement on the hiring of a new head coach in the near future.