Stangle Announces Hiring of Assistant Coaches

March 19, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

University of Wyoming head volleyball coach Pat Stangle announced today the hiring of Alan Edwards and Michelle Patton as assistant coaches with the Cowgirl volleyball program.

"We're only going to be as good as the people who make up our program," said Stangle. "Overall, I am very pleased with the composition of our staff. It is critical, wherever you are, to find the right people and determine the right fit. Both Alan and Michelle bring a tremendous amount to this program. I am looking forward to working together to bring success to the Wyoming Volleyball program. Already, in the short time they've been here, we've made huge strides in the gym and in recruiting."

Alan Edwards joins the Wyoming coaching staff after spending the past four years at the helm of the Mercer volleyball program. In his four years as head volleyball coach, Edwards guided the Bears in 2003 to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament for the first time since 1996. He also led Mercer to its most wins ever in conference play this past season, going 7-3 and earning the No. 4 seed at the A-Sun Championship.

He took over the Mercer volleyball program in 2000 after the Bears had gone a combined 6-48 in the two years prior to his arrival. In the last two seasons under his leadership, Mercer finished a combined 30-32.

A native of Brevard, North Carolina, Edwards spent one season as an assistant at Troy State before accepting the Mercer position. Prior to his stint at TSU, the Western Carolina graduate spent the previous 10 seasons at the high school and club level. He guided Brevard High School to three consecutive state playoff appearances after inheriting a team that finished 4-16 the year before he arrived.

While in the high school ranks, Edwards was instrumental in bringing club volleyball to the Western North Carolina area. He helped found the Biltmore Volleyball club team in 1993 and worked with that squad until 1999.

Edwards is married to Hollis Arnette Edwards. They have two children Cole (9) and Brinsley (6).

"Alan left a program that he was building into a conference contender to join us here at Wyoming," Stangle said. "I am grateful to him for that and his belief in what we are trying to accomplish. I like the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the office each day. Having been through a re-building process himself, he understands the demands of the job. As Recruiting Coordinator, Alan knows the type of athlete that we need to compete in the Mountain West Conference and the NCAA. I am very excited to have Alan as apart of our staff."

Michelle Patton comes to Wyoming after spending the past two and a half seasons at the University of Washington as a volunteer assistant coach. A four-year letterwinner with the Huskies from 1994-97, her main duties included team defense and working with the setters. During that time, she also was the head coach of the Seattle Athletics Club men's team for two years.

A three-year starter at setter, Patton helped lead the Huskies to three NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 as a senior in 1997. She still ranks second on the UW career list for assists with 2,655 and seventh for aces with 97. Patton played in over 300 games at Washington, earning Pac-10 honorable mention all-academic honors her final three seasons.

After graduating in 1999 with a degree in English and a minor in speech communications, the Richmond, Calif., native worked as a content editor for HomeGrocer.com in nearby Renton, Wash.

Patton is single and is currently rated AAA on the CBVA beach circuit.

"I don't think I could have found a better person to fill this position at this time," added Stangle. "Michelle has played and coached at a very high level and understands what it takes to develop and maintain a quality program. Having worked with her at the University of Washington the past two years, we have a great working relationship and are on the same page in terms of training and systems. Michelle has a very bright future in the coaching profession. I feel fortunate that she is here with us at Wyoming."