Belle Volleyball Camps
Chuck Waddington has guided the Angelo State volleyball program through a resurgence into yearly prominence.
Waddington, who has a 164-71 record at ASU after seven seasons, guided the Belles to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Championships finals in 2013 and 2012 and has led ASU to the national tournament four straight seasons. In the 2012 season, he led the Belles to the regional finals for first time in school history and to their first Lone Star Conference regular-season title since 1992. He was named the conference's 2012 Coach of the Year and helped Shelby Wilt, Alex Woolsey, Maddie Huth and Shelbi Goode earn AVCA All-America honors. He has accumulated 91 Lone Star Conference victories, five straight LSC Tournament championship finals appearances and and is 5-4 in the NCAA DII tournament.
“I think we are progressing in the direction to be a national contender every year,” said Waddington, who is ASU’s fifth head coach since the program was started in 1976. “We are a program that is approaching the level where we will be competing for national championships very soon. We want to start moving up the national ladder and become a consistent program that is always in the top-10 and competing for that top spot.”
The Belles are coming off a 2014 season where the team went 21-9 and reached the LSC Championship final and then earned an at-large bid to the NCAA DII South Central Championship for the fourth straight season. The 2014 campaign followed a another historic season in 2013 when the Belles reached the conference tournament finals and then the NCAA DII South Central Championship finals for the second straight season. It was the first time in program history for the Belles to reach two straight regional finals.
Waddington and the Belles host the LSC Championship in 2012 and advanced to the NCAA DII South Central Regional Championships for the second straight season where they beat Adams State and Regis University to advance to the finals. The 2012 Belles went 18-2 in conference play and had Woolsey earn the conference's Setter of the Year, Shelby Wilt taking Libero of the Year, Goode tabbed as Newcomer of the Year along with Huth, Woolsey, Wilt and Goode being tabbed as First-Team members. Kaelen Valdez earned Second-Team honors and Chelsea Gibson was an honorable mention selection. Wilt, Huth, Goode and Woolsey were also recognized on the AVCA South Central Regional Team.
Previous to his success in San Angelo, Waddington spent five years as the assistant coach at Florida Southern College where he helped guide the Moccasins to five straight NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances. ASU is 118-52 under Waddington’s leadership and reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011 – an accomplishment that the program had not experienced in 19 seasons. The Belles beat St. Edward’s at the South Central Regional (in Warrensburg, Miss.) for its first national tournament win in 20 seasons and have advanced to the LSC tournament every year since his arrival in San Angelo.
“I'm super proud of this group,” said Waddington immediately following the Belles’ season-ending hard-fought loss to the region’s top seed, Central Missouri. “There is no doubt that we belong here after the way our girls fought their hearts out in both of these matches. They played great and have nothing to feel bad about. We left everything we had on the court. Everyone that came to watch these matches knows that it was no fluke that we made this tournament and that we are going to be back.”
Angelo State has consistently improved and excelled in conference play under Waddington. The team went 8-5 in LSC South play in his first year in 2008, 10-3 in his second year, 12-2 in 2010 and 17-3 in 2012 in conference games.
“I want our success to be looked at as business as usual but also for it to be remembered as a really fun time,” Waddington said. “That’s the approach I have to winning in the postseason and want our program’s mentality to be. We are never going to lower our expectations because we are afraid we can’t achieve something. We’re just going to work that much harder to achieve it.”
Waddington began his coaching career with a one-year stint at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, N.Y., before serving six years as the head coach at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Fla. During his tenure at BVHS, the volleyball team went 127-58, claimed five district titles, advanced to the Class 3A semifinals and he earned the district’s coach of the year all six seasons.
It was from Bishop Verot that Waddington took his coaching passion to Florida Southern. The Moccasins were 136-44 during the five years the Belles’ head coach was there. He mentored 20 All-Sunshine State Conference honorees, 15 all-region selections, 10 All-Americans and six academic all-district performers.
Also an experienced club volleyball coach, Waddington coached Junior Olympic Club Volleyball for six years in the Fort Myers area and was the club director for the Lakeland Area Volleyball Association in Lakeland, Fla. In the summers of 2006 and 2007, he was involved with the Team Florida USA Volleyball High Performance Program, coaching some of the top players in Florida.
Waddington is an accomplished volleyball player both indoors and on the beach. His indoor teams have finished as high as 11th in the USA Volleyball Open National Championships and, on the beach, he has won several tournaments at the AA and open levels, including a co-ed 4’s national championship in the mid-1990s. In 2006, Waddington was named the USAV Florida Region Outstanding Adult Male Player, fueled by an attitude he strives to instill in his teams.
“I would like my players to learn that the pursuit of excellence is not just something that happens in the gym,” Waddington said. “It carries over into everything that they do. I want them to understand the importance and challenges of building and maintaining relationships with their family and friends. I would also want my players to leave with a sense of self-confidence to help them achieve whatever goals they may set for themselves.”
During the offseason, Waddington serves as the director for the ’Belles Volleyball Camps, which runs the first week in June and the final week in July. The camps are for aspiring volleyball players ages 9-17, and provide instruction to all skill levels.
A native of Johnstown, N.Y., Waddington earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (N.Y.) in 1993. He added his master’s degree in education from Florida Southern in 2006.
Waddington and his wife, Mandi, have a daughter, Bailey (14), a son, Jaxsen (7) and a newborn daughter, Riley.
Looking forward to the 2012 season, Waddington is excited about his team’s experience and overall skill level. The Belles return seven players from last season and two more who experienced the team’s success from the sidelines as redshirts. The program is setting its sights on achieving multiple goals revolving around wins and reaching the NCAA tournament for back-to-back years for the first time since the 1991 and 1992 ASU volleyball teams advanced there. Waddington uses everything as motivation – from the challenge of coaching at Fulton-Montgomery where two of his seven players had never played before – to feeling the disappointment of the Belles falling in the LSC title game the last two seasons.
Blending those past challenges and successes are components which make up Waddington’s coaching philosophy and the rising program he is guiding at Angelo State.
“I want our kids to work hard, be disciplined and have fun,” Waddington said. “As much as I take a business approach to coaching, it is really important to me that our players are happy and enjoying playing volleyball while here at Angelo State. We work hard every day, but we also enjoy what we are doing every day.”