Due to her dedication and commitment over the last 11 years, head coach Kim Hudson has elevated Gamecock Volleyball to a traditionally competitive and respectable program among the ranks of the collegiate level. Dedicated to helping young ladies become mature and successful women, Hudson has coached and mentored conference and district all-team selections, academic all-americans and student athlete of the year selections. With 16 wins, Hudson could reach another coaching milestone and record her 400th career victory during the 2004 season.
The 2003 season brought about Hudson's most recent player honors as the SEC named redshirt freshman Lynae Vanden Hull Co-Freshman of the Year, a first for Gamecock volleyball. In addition, setter Katelyn Panzau became the fifth freshman in South Carolina history to record 1,000-plus assists.
In 2002, Hudson led Carolina to a 22-7 overall record and a third straight NCAA appearance, the program1s sixth in eight years. This marked the most NCAA appearances by any coach in Carolina volleyball history. The Gamecocks1 14 SEC wins in 2002 were the most in school history and also led the Gamecocks to a 10-0 start, the best SEC start ever in program history.
In her first season at South Carolina, the Gamecocks went from a 1-13 conference record (11-21 overall) to a 4-10 record (15-18 overall). Since Hudson first SEC victory in 1993 against Alabama, the SEC victories have become more plentiful. Hudson has led Carolina to SEC wins over all of the Conference foes at least once, including SEC Champion Florida, Georgia and SEC Western Division Champion Arkansas.
In 1994, Carolina advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament and received a bid to play in the National Invitation Volleyball Championship (NIVC), marking the Gamecocks' first post-season appearance since the 1984 NCAA Tournament. The team finished with a 24-12 record.
In 1995, Carolina was 8-6 in the SEC, while finishing the year at 21-11 overall. Ending the season ranked at No. 29, Carolina also finished second in the District Four ranking < both being its highest rankings ever. The 1995 Gamecocks advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 win at Hofstra University, before being downed by Texas A&M.
In 1996, Hudson saw the Gamecocks post a 22-8 record, picking up second place in the SEC Eastern Division. A year later, Carolina topped its 1996 effort by going 11-3 in conference play, again posting a second-place finish in the SEC Eastern Division. That Carolina team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. The Gamecocks opened up the tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Illinois State, but lost to the host school, Texas, in the second round.
Hudson's SEC peers recognized her hard work and dedication as they named her the SEC Coach of the Year in 1997.
In 1998, Hudson saw senior Ashley Edlund close out her career as the school's finest setter ever. Edlund, a four-time All-SEC and All-District selection, was named the school's Female Athlete of the Year after shattering the school record for career assists. That season, the Gamecocks again finished second in the SEC Eastern Division with an 8-6 SEC record and 21-11 overall. Carolina advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years, falling 2-3 to Colorado State. Edlund and CindyRobarge guided the Gamecocks to four-straight seasons of 21 plus wins - a first in Carolina history.
In the summer of 1998, Hudson joined her former player Heather Larkin in the summer of on Nike's European Volleyball Tour. The All-Star tour traveled with Alec Peters of AMG Volleyball, including four coaches and 20 athletes to Europe and it marked the first time the tour had been done for women.
The tour was designed to expose more U.S. players to volleyball and Europe. Larkin signed with a team in Holland that went on to win the Holland Championship in 1999.
As a result of volleyball1s success, matches have become more popular. South Carolina continues to break attendance records match after match. Carolina has hosted a number of crowds over the coveted 1,000 mark, including a school record crowd of 1,793 in a 3-2 loss to No. 10 Florida in 2001.
Carolina's players have been rewarded for their hard work under Coach Hudson. In 1998, Edlund was the only senior in the SEC to be named All-SEC all four years, while freshman Cally Plummer wowed the SEC coaches as the only freshman selection on the first team.
In 1995, Larkin picked up first team All-SEC honors, while Kori Ermigarat and Edlund were named to the second team, as Edlund finished second in the voting for Freshman of the Year. Four of Hudson players were named to the All-SEC team in 1994, including Amy Iannoccari, who became the first Carolina volleyball player to be named to the All-SEC first team. Kori Ermigarat, Katie Gerst and Heather Larkin were named to the All-SEC second team.
Edlund was named a finalist for the 1999 SEC Female Athlete of the Year and was awarded the $5,000 H. Boyd McWhorter post-graduate scholarship. Shani Abshier was named the SEC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year and was awarded the $10,000 H. Boyd McWhorter post-graduate scholarship in 1998. She was named to the GTE Academic All-American District III team in 1996.
South Carolina led the conference in the classroom in both 1993 and 1994, having seven athletes named to the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll, and one (Gerst) named to the GTE Academic All-America third team. Entering the 2004 campaign with an overall 214-118 record at South Carolina, Hudson picked up her 100th win at South Carolina with a 3-0 victory over Tennessee on Nov. 7, 1997. In 17 years of coaching, Hudson has an overall record of 384-162. She captured her 300th career win in a 3-0 win over NCAA participant Virginia in 1999.
Hudson came to South Carolina following two highly successful seasons at Northern Arizona University, adding her Midas touch to the Lady Jacks1 program.
Determined to save a program that finished 9-22 in 1990, Hudson registered the biggest single-season turnaround in the nation in 1991 by leading NAU to a 26-8 mark accompanied by a Big Sky Conference championship appearance and a post-season tournament appearance, which was a first in school history. During her two seasons with the Lady Jacks' program, Hudson teams broke a total of 40 school records with 30 of them occurring during Hudson first season as their leader.
Prior to working at Northern Arizona, Hudson achieved outstanding success at West Texas State (1987-90), leading that program to the 1990 Division II National Championship and a 38-1 record. Her coaching philosophy continued to work on the Lady Buffs' program during her first year in 1987, West Texas improved from a 10-24 season into a 25-7 winning program. Her teams won 127 games while losing only 25. Hudson rejuvenated team garnered two Lone Star Conference Championships and a Co-championship.
Being credited for her outstanding coaching ability, Hudson was named the Division II Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A.V.C.A.) in 1990 and received a similar honor from Volleyball Monthly. She was also named the South Central Region Coach of the Year on two occasions, in addition to a Career Achievement Award from the Amarillo Women1s Network. Hudson was also added to the West Texas Hall of Fame in 1995. Hudson, the winningest volleyball coach in WTSU history, completed a four-year coaching stint, with seven players receiving All-American honors.
Hudson came to West Texas from Amarillo High School, where her 1986 team finished the season in the 5A Texas State Finals with a record of 35-2. She was rewarded with Coach of the Year honors from the Amarillo Globe-News and was the first-ever recipient of the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame Volleyball Coach of the Year award, an honor repeated following her initial season at WTSU.
Hudson, a native of Amarillo, Texas, was the first woman to receive a full scholarship to the University of Texas-Arlington. She led the Arlington-based team, one of a handful of non-West Coast volleyball powerhouses, to eighth, ninth and 12th-place national rankings. In 1980, she was named UTA's Most Valuable Player and the Woman of the Year. She was a four-year letterwinner at Texas-Arlington and was named the school's athlete of the year in 1980. She received her Bachelors in Education from Texas Tech in 1982. Hudson is also a 1995 graduate of the Sports Management Institute. TMTM