Coming from a successful stint at Wichita State, RJ Abella joined the Gamecocks in the spring of 2013 to work as an assistant coach for both the indoor and sand teams at South Carolina. Abella is entering his second season at Carolina.
Following the 2013 season, Abella was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Thirty Under 30 list, which is made up of 30 rising coaching stars at all levels of volleyball who are under 30 years old.
At Wichita State, Abella assisted in every area of the Shockers' program, breaking down video and helping with scouting, communicating with academics, athletic training and strength and conditioning staffs and working with recruiting. He coached three AVCA All-Americans and nine All-MVC student-athletes in his four years on full-time staff. The Shockers ranked as high as ninth in 2008 in the AVCA poll and made six-straight NCAA Tournaments, culminating in the regional semifinal appearance in 2012.
Abella started his coaching career as an assistant with the Newman (Kan.) women's team before moving across town to join the Shockers, first as the technical manager before moving onto the staff full-time under Chris Lamb.
Abella has also coached on the national circuit, helping the USA A2 National Team to a second-place finish in the 2009 USA Open Championships. Abella served as a head coach and the club director with the ICT Elite Volleyball Club in Wichita.
A former player, Abella served as a team captain for the Newman men's volleyball team during his three years, a squad that made the national tournament during his playing years. A team captain for the Jets, he earned Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors as a junior. Abella also served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president.
Abella completed his bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in psychology in 2009 at Wichita State.
Abella's Coaching Timeline
Abella's Playing Timeline
Abella's Education Timeline