Two-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year Lisa Rhodes completed her 17th season at the helm of the Lady Mocs program in the fall of 2010, the longest tenure for any SoCon coach. It marked Rhodes’ 22nd year of coaching at the Division I level.
The winningest coach in UTC volleyball history, Rhodes has compiled a 280-284 record in her 17 seasons on the Chattanooga bench and a career mark of 365-343. She coached five teams to conference titles.
In her time at UTC, Rhodes boasts 10 winning seasons including five 20-win seasons and four years with 19 victories, including 2007.
Prior to the start of the 2010 campaign,
Rhodes's squad was recognized for their hard work in the classroom and on the court with the American Volleyball Coaches Association
(AVCA) Team Academic Award for posting a 3.53 GPA over the 2009-10
academic year. Seven student-athletes earned a 4.0 in the spring
semester, a UTC record. Senior Courtney Barnes was selecteed to the ESPN Academic All-District IV First Team for her stellar play on the court and hard work in the classroom.
The Lady Mocs finished the season with a 12-20 mark, just narrowly missing the SoCon Tournament with a 7-9 mark. Following the campaign sophomore Paula Passmore was named the SoCon Libero of the Year. It was the sixth-consecutive season that the Chattanooga libero paced the league in digs per set.
In 2009, the Lady Mocs jumped out of the gate en route to an 8-3 start, the best since 1999, which included the Techster Home Tournament title. It was the first time since 2002 that Chattanooga won a regular season tournament away from Maclellan Gym.
Rhodes’ milestone year came in 2005 when her 200th UTC and 300th career wins came within two weeks of each other. She became the first volleyball coach in Southern Conference history to win 200 games at a member school in October of that year with a 3-0 home win over Western Carolina.
Two weeks later, UTC defeated Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga., giving Rhodes her 300th career win. She is the leader in the league for both career and conference wins.
In 2004, the Lady Mocs posted their first win over an ACC opponent since 1985 with a 3-2 victory over North Carolina State.
Under Rhodes’ tutelage, the Lady Mocs won the SoCon regular-season championship in 1997 and 1998. Chattanooga won conference tournament championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1996 (play-in), 1997 and 1998.
In 2003, Rhodes coached UTC’s first AVCA All-South Region honoree, senior outside hitter Kari Krouse. Lara Newberry followed in 2007 and 2008 with All-South Honorable Mention honors.
Newberry set the standard nationally for Liberos. A two-time National Libero of the Year by Collegiate Volleyball Update (2007 & 2008), the Chattanooga native owns the NCAA records for digs in a career (3,176) and season (942 in 2007).
UTC had a streak of six consecutive seasons with at least 19 wins from 1996-2001. The Lady Mocs returned to form in 2003 with another 20-win campaign.
In 1999, the Lady Mocs set a school record for winning percentage at .758, winning 25 of 33 matches. Chattanooga was especially tough at Maclellan Gym, tying the school record by winning 12 home matches and setting a school mark with an .800 winning percentage.
From 1996-2001, Rhodes led the Lady Mocs to a first- or second-place finish in either the regular season or tournament, another streak unmatched in the SoCon. In that span, UTC was 13-3 in conference tournament action (.813), which is by far the best record among league teams.
UTC captured back-to-back SoCon regular-season and tournament titles in both 1997 and 1998 as Rhodes guided the Lady Mocs from last to first place in just under three years.
During the 1998 season, Chattanooga won 23 matches and won the conference title with a 15-3 record. UTC won the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
In 1997, the Lady Mocs became the first team in conference history to post a perfect league record. UTC was 16-0 in conference play en route to winning the school’s first-ever regular-season conference title. Rhodes’ team won 26 matches that season to tie the school record set the year before and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Rhodes coached a tremendous turnaround in the 1996 season, taking a UTC team that had won a total of 19 matches the previous four seasons to a 26-11 record. The Lady Mocs finished second in league regular-season play, but beat Appalachian State to win the league tournament.
In five seasons (1989-93), Rhodes led the Lady Bulldogs to a 97-79 record and three Big South Conference titles. In 1991, she led UNC Asheville to the NIVC National Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Prior to her five-year coaching stint at UNC Asheville, she was the head coach at Edneyville High School in North Carolina. In her three years at Edneyville, she led her squads to two consecutive North Carolina state titles, 1987 and 1988, and a combined 80-27 overall record. In 1988, she was named the Region VIII Coach of the Year in the state.
Rhodes earned a bachelor’s of science in physical education and graduated cum laude from Appalachian State in 1983. She began her collegiate career in 1979 when she earned a basketball scholarship to UNC Asheville. In 1989, Rhodes earned a Master’s degree in Education from Gardner-Webb College. She prepped at A.C. Reynolds High School in Asheville, N.C., and earned 12 letters playing volleyball, basketball and softball.
Rhodes is an active member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
She and her husband, Jim, have two children, Trent (23) and Courtney (18).