Jan. 12, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - University of Alabama head women's volleyball coach Ed Allen announced that Julia Silva and Ryan Wills have been named assistant coaches at the Capstone. Both Silva and Wills were assistant coaches for Allen at the University of Tulsa in 2010, where the staff helped propel the Golden Hurricane to a season ending ranking of No. 20 in the AVCA Coaches Top-25 poll.
"It's so significant that we have a chance to bring both assistant coaches and keep the whole staff together," Allen said. "It will allow us hit the ground running and doesn't assume any time in finding the right people to come in and assist us with the program. They both understand the system, and it will allow us to progress much quicker this spring."
Silva and Wills were vital to the success of the Tulsa women's volleyball program this past season, helping the team post a school record 31 wins. The 2010 Golden Hurricane squad had a 31-3 overall record and a perfect 20-0 Conference USA mark, en route to conference regular season and tournament titles. The year ended with the school's first ever NCAA Tournament win, a 3-0 victory over No. 13 seeded LSU, and a second round NCAA Tournament loss to Oklahoma (3-2).
Julia Silva spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Tulsa, after making the transition from being a player at the school. Silva was vital to the development of sophomore setter Jordan Clampitt, who was named the C-USA Setter of the Year in 2010.
"Julia is one of the finest young coaches in the country," Allen said. "Her ability to relate to the players with her age is huge, and her ability to help the transition between myself and the team, having been in a similar role is huge. Additionally, her international experience will be a tremendous asset to the program."
As a player, Silva was a three-year letterwinner for the Golden Hurricane from 2005-07, and was a three-time AVCA All-American Honorable Mention selection as a setter. She was a two-time winner of Conference USA's Setter of the Year award, was a three-time All-CUSA selection, and set school records for assists in a season each of her three years in a Hurricane uniform. She became the first TU setter to reach 4,000 career assists with 4,206, and was also the first TU volleyball player to have her jersey (No. 14) retired.
Silva led TU to a 77-24 record during her playing career, while finishing as one of TU's winningest players, before earning a bachelor's degree in business marketing in 2008. Prior to her time at Tulsa, Silva as an AVAC Second Team All-American and a NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American for Jefferson College in 2004.
Ryan Wills joined the Tulsa coaching staff prior to the start of the 2010 season, just in time to be part of the best season in school history. Prior to joining Allen at Tulsa, Wills spent two years in California, where he served as Beach Program Director at Mizuno Long Beach Volleyball Club and coached two teams for the club. He also served as a volunteer coach for the UCLA women's volleyball team for two years.
Allen had this to say about Wills, "He understands our system extremely well, and his experience at UCLA has enabled him to see how things were done differently within that program. He's a very enthusiastic coach, whose biggest asset for us will be to help establish recruiting ties out West, and create a base to draw players to Alabama from the West Coast."
As a volunteer coach at UCLA from 2008-10, Wills assisted the Bruins program under now-retired head coach Andy Banachowski, the all-time winningest NCAA Division I women's volleyball coach. During Wills' time with the program, UCLA reached the NCAA Regional Semifinals in 2008 and the NCAA Second Round in 2009. He helped train three AVCA All-Americans, two Pac-10 Conference Freshmen of the Year and one AVCA National Freshman of the Year.
Before heading West, Wills was a student assistant for Allen at Tulsa from 2006-08. He helped the Golden Hurricane win its first Conference USA regular season title in 2006, and its first C-USA Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007. Wills graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration.