Hal Clifton became the ninth head coach in the history of the North Carolina A&T volleyball program on August 2, 2011 when Director of Athletics Earl Hilton announced his signing. He came to A&T with the charge of leading the Aggies back to the success they enjoyed during the 1990's and early 2000's. Clifton enters his fourth season and has made tremendous strides with the Aggies program.
During the 2014 season, the Aggies made their second consecutive appearance in the MEAC tournament. A&T posted a 6-4 record in the southern division and earned the third seed in the tournament where it fell 3-2 to Howard. The volleyball program remained one of the top academic programs at A&T as six student-athletes were named to the MEAC All-Academic team (Liz Martino, Jillian Nobles, Ashley Johnson, Jasmine Jones, Aleena McDaniel, and Brooke Stamnes).
In his third season with the Aggies, Clifton’s hard work and patience finally paid off. The Aggies made their first appearance in the MEAC tournament since 2007 as the No. 2 seed in the southern division. A&T also secured its first non-conference win since the 2010 season with a 3-2 victory over Alabama A&M on Sept. 6, 2013. Aleena McDaniel was named a 2013 third-team All-MEAC after leading the Aggies in kills (280). Clifton has also stressed academics during his tenure at A&T. McDaniel, along with Ashley Johnson, Jasmine Jones, and Brooke Stamnes were named to the 2013 All-MEAC academic team.
In his second season as the Aggies head coach, Clifton led the Aggies to three conference wins, the most since the 2007 season. He also recruited an impressive freshman class that included 2012 first-team All-MEAC libero Ashley Johnson. In his first season, Aggies were a young team and had the minimum of six players on the roster to start the season. Clifton developed those players and added others to the team as the season progressed. Despite the obstacles, Clifton converted outside hitter Chelsea Fox into a strong setter and he oversaw the steady improvement of middle hitter Andrea Evans. He saw five players named to the MEAC All-Academic Team in 2011.
Clifton came to A&T after concluding his sixth season as the assistant coach of the Elon Phoenix. He played a major part in turning the Phoenix from a 9-23 team in 2005 to a squad that finished in first place in the Southern Conference North Division in 2010 with a 21-14 overall record and an 11-5 mark in the league. Clifton came to Elon University in August of 2005 from St. Andrews Presbyterian College where he served as the assistant coach for the 2004 season.
At St. Andrews, Clifton helped lead the team to the NCAA Division II Tournament and a regional ranking of seventh. The team tied a school record with 14 conference victories and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Clifton coached four all-conference athletes at St. Andrews and one conference freshman of the year.
Before his stint at St. Andrews, Clifton spent three years as the head coach at Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, N.C. At Jack Britt, he achieved an overall record of 62-20, including a 28-2 season. Clifton was a three-time Mid-Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and the Cape Fear Region Coach of the Year in 2003. He led Jack Britt to consecutive conference championships and state tournament appearances in 2002 and '03. Clifton coached three Mid-Southeastern Conference players of the year along with nine all-conference selections.
Clifton also served six seasons as the head coach of the Carolina Region High Performance club team from 2002-2007. In 2003 and '04, he served as the head coach of the developmental team before becoming the head coach of the youth team in 2005. Clifton also spent three seasons with the Fayetteville Area Volleyball Association as a head coach. His 17-and-under team won the Carolina Regional Championship and three other tournaments in 2002.
Clifton graduated with a B.S., degree in athletic training from Appalachian State University in 1994, where he played for the men's volleyball club team. While at Appalachian State, Clifton received the Ron H. "Doc" Kannoy Award for the most outstanding athletic trainer.
He earned his master's in exercise and sport science from the University of Florida in 1996. During his time at Florida, Clifton served as the athletic trainer for the World University Volleyball team while they trained and played exhibition matches throughout the state of Florida prior to going to Japan for competition. As an athletic trainer at Florida, Clifton worked with the 1994 Southeastern Conference Champion football team along with the top ranked men's tennis and men's golf programs.
Clifton and his wife, Jennifer, have two children
|Alma Mater:||Appalachian State|