GREENSBORO - Director of Athletics Earl Hilton has announced the appointment of Hal Clifton as the new North Carolina A&T volleyball coach. Clifton is the ninth head coach in the program's history.
"Coach Clifton has an excellent history of identifying talent, developing young players and getting the best out of his athletes on and off the court," said Hilton. "We believe he has the ability to return our volleyball program to the top of the MEAC, while keeping our players accountable academically."
Clifton comes to N.C. A&T after being an assistant at Elon for six seasons. He played a major part in turning the Phoenix from a 9-23 team in 2005 into 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.
"I'm extremely excited to become the new head coach for volleyball here at NC A&T," said Clifton. "After going through the interview process and meeting with the staff here, I found that N.C. A&T is a place where the focus is on the student-athlete. I'm excited for the challenges that lie ahead.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the players are eager to get going and so am I. We are going to build a program that competes in the classroom and on the volleyball court. We want to graduate players that are prepared to face the challenges of an ever changing world."
Before his stint at Elon, Clifton spent one season as an assistant coach at Division II St. Andrews. During the 2004 season, the Knights earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. They also finished seventh in the region, and tied the school record for conference wins with 14.
Before entering the college ranks, Clifton was the head volleyball coach at Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, N.C. He compiled a 62-20 record over that time span, including a 28-2 season. Clifton was a three-time Mid-Southern Conference Coach of the Year and the Cape Fear Region Coach of the Year in 2003. He led the Buccaneers to back-to-back conference titles and state tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003.
In his three seasons at the high school, he coached three conference players of the year and nine all-conference selections.
Clifton graduated from Appalachian State with a B.S., degree in athletic training. During his time at ASU, he was a member of the men's volleyball club team, and he received the Ron H. "Doc" Kannoy Award for the most outstanding athletic trainer.
Clifton also obtained his master's in exercise and sport science from the University of Florida in 1996. As an athletic trainer at Florida, Clifton worked with the 1994 Southeastern Conference Championship football team and the top ranked men's tennis and men's golf programs.