Spriggs bestowed RSC Coach of Character Award


PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University volleyball head coach Devan Spriggs, who will be in her fifth season as the Bears’ head coach and her 10th season on staff beginning with the 2024 campaign, has been named as the River States Conference’s Coach of Character for the 2023-24 academic year — as announced by conference officials on Friday.

Since Spriggs took over as the head coach in 2020, SSU has gone 57-52, including a 16-12 record this past season which is the second winning season program in the last three years — the first time that feat had been accomplished since the Bears had five winning seasons in six years from the 2007 to 2012 campaigns.

The more consistent success that the volleyball program has seen as of late can be credited to the low turnover rate and high successes that Spriggs has produced on the court.

Of the 27 total volleyball players that have been on Spriggs’ rosters over the last four seasons, 24 of them maintained a cumulative GPA above 3.0, many of them balancing intensive classwork and labs in the process.

An incredible 21 of those 27 players ultimately maintained cumulative GPAs above 3.5.

Along with her work with the SSU volleyball program, Spriggs is active in the community, having helped her father Rick by keeping the basketball scorebook for the Northwest Mohawks’ boys basketball program.

She also, along with several Shawnee State volleyball players and current assistant coach Sydney Seth, conducted various camps and helped to grow the game of volleyball in Southeastern Ohio as a result.

“Devan is a person of unwavering integrity and dedication,” Shawnee State athletic director Gerald Cadogan said. “Her commitment to developing not only the athletic abilities but also the personal growth of her athletes is truly commendable. She goes above and beyond to ensure that each player reaches their full potential, both on and off the court.”

Between her playing and coaching career, Spriggs will be involved with the Shawnee State volleyball program for her 14th consecutive season — when the 2024 campaign kicks off in August.

A multi-sport athlete who graduated from Northwest in 2011, Scarberry played all four years under former Shawnee State head coach Susan Shelton — and amassed 700 assists, 336 kills, 278 digs and 57 total blocks playing between the front and back lines.

Scarberry was a three-time Academic All-Mid-South Conference honoree, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and the 2014 MSC Champions of Character Award winner for the sport of volleyball, back when the award was given to a single player rather than a team of players.

Spriggs is the first-ever volleyball coach to win the award at the River States Conference level — since the award was given out beginning with the 2015-16 season.

Previous winners over that stretch included three men’s basketball coaches, two softball coaches, two women’s basketball coaches and a women’s soccer coach.

As the conference’s honoree, Spriggs will have her name forwarded to the national level — as a nominee for the NAIA’s Coach of Character Award.

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