Samantha Dabbs was announced as the seventh head coach of the University of the Incarnate Word women’s volleyball program on Dec. 19, 2017.
A native of San Antonio and former Churchill High School standout, Dabbs comes to UIW after six seasons at North Florida, where she served as head coach of the beach volleyball program and associate head coach of the indoor volleyball team.
Dabbs joined the UNF volleyball coaching staff in 2012. In addition to coordinating North Florida’s recruiting efforts, Dabbs helped develop the team’s offensive system, working primarily with setters.
At the conclusion of the 2016 sand volleyball season, Dabbs and Director of Volleyball Steve Loeswick garnered Atlantic Sun Conference Coaching Staff of the Year honors. The duo led the Ospreys to a record 24 wins and the program's fourth ASUN Tournament title.
Over the 2014-15 campaign, Dabbs was instrumental in the development of UNF’s two-setter indoor system. Under her guidance, Courtney Miller was named 2014 Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year.
During the 2015 beach season, North Florida’s top duo of Cari Whitmire and Cameron McGuire earned all-conference honors, while Jess Kinlaw landed a spot on the all-freshman team.
In 2013-14, Dabbs worked with a young indoor program, while guiding UNF to another successful sand season. With the indoor team, Dabbs helped develop freshman setter Abby Fesl, who earned all-freshman team honors.
North Florida compiled an 18-6 overall beach record and a 7-1 mark against Atlantic Sun competition in 2014. Dagnija Medina and Kim Hildreth concluded the season as the Atlantic Sun’s Pair of the Year and reached the championship bracket at the AVCA Sand National Championships.
During the indoor campaign in the fall 2012, UNF earned a 22-12 record and an 11-7 mark in conference play. This was North Florida’s first 20-win season in Division I history and its first season with double-digit conference wins since joining the ASUN. UNF also reached the Atlantic Sun Championship match for the first time in program history. Under Dabbs’ tutelage, Britt Claessens put up 1,376 assists in 2012, which is the fifth-highest single-season total in program history.
During the 2013 beach season, UNF went 16-5 overall and 8-0 in Atlantic Sun action. North Florida defended its ASUN Tournament title and became the first team in the country to earn an automatic bid to the AVCA Sand National Championships. UNF was one of six teams to compete for a team title. Additionally, two North Florida pairs – Anna Budinska/Dagnija Medina and Carolyn Jenkins/Cari Whitmire – were picked to compete in the AVCA Sand Volleyball Pairs National Championship. Budinska and Medina were named the ASUN Tournament’s Most Valuable Pair and both earned first team All-Atlantic Sun honors.
Dabbs’ joined North Florida during the inaugural beach volleyball season in the spring of 2012. In its first season, UNF captured the ASUN Tournament title and Dagnija Medina and Emily Strack made an appearance at the AVCA Sand Nationals.
Prior to UNF, Dabbs had stints as an assistant coach at Cincinnati and Appalachian State.
Before moving to the sidelines, Dabbs completed and illustrious playing career as a setter for Louisville and LSU. She was tutored by North Florida head coach Steve Loeswick during her playing days in Baton Rouge.
As a senior in 2009, Dabbs started 30 matches for the SEC-champion Tigers on her way to earning All-SEC and All-Louisiana first team honors. Dabbs also garnered AVCA All-America and All-South Region Honorable Mention recognition. As a junior, she ranked fifth in the SEC in assists and earned Louisiana Newcomer of the Year and All-Louisiana second team honors.
Prior to LSU, Dabbs spent two years as the starting setter at Louisville, where she led the Cardinals to a No. 17 national ranking.
Dabbs also gained valuable international experience as a member of the USA A2 Junior National Team.
Dabbs earned her bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration-Sport Commerce from LSU in 2010.