Jessica Day returns to Bryan for the 2016-17 season at the helm of the Bryan College Volleyball program in her first season as the Head Coach and fourth season serving the Lady Lions, handling the previous three seasons as an assistant coach.
Last season, Coach Day helped lead the Lady Lions to their fourth straight year as the Appalachian Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions, finishing with an overall record of 24-12 and 18-2 in AAC play through regular season action. A win against Bluefield and an upset by Milligan in the AAC tournament brought their record to 25-13. The Lions had two players earn AAC First Team All-Conference honors and one player named to Second Team All-Conference. One Lion was named to the AAC Champion's of Character Team, along with making the All-Freshman Team. Five members from the team earned All-Academic honors. Two Lion standouts were named to the AVCA All-Northeast Region First Team and collected NAIA All-American Honorable Mentions. For the 2015-16 season, there were two tabbed from the Bryan team as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
During the 2014-15 season, Coach Day assisted in achieving several program firsts. The Lady Lions achieved their first-ever undefeated conference season on the way to their third-straight regular season conference championship. The team placed six players on the All-Conference team and had two players tabbed as NAIA Honorable Mention All-Americans. The team also had seven players named to the All-Academic Team and two NAIA Daktronics Scholar Athletes.
In her first season, Coach Day was a volunteer assistant with the Lady Lions. She assisted in helping the team set new records for most wins (33) and best conference record (19-1) on its way to repeating as both the AAC Champions and AAC Tournament champions. The 2013 team placed 6 players on the AAC All-tournament team. The Lady Lions also placed nine players on the All-Academic team, had two players named as NAIA Daktronics Scholar Athletes, and placed two on the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American Team.
Coach Day, formerly Jessica Kaya, was a 4-year stand out for the Lady Lions from 2008-2011. During her playing days, Day garnered numerous athletic and academic awards including, 2008 AAC All-Freshman Team, 2009 Bryan College Defensive Player of the Year, 2010 NAIA All-Scholar Team, and 2011 Academic All-Conference. She finished her career with a total of 1480 digs.
Following her graduation in 2012, Coach Day spent one year as Assistant Coach at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. She has also coached Junior Olympic volleyball for various area clubs since her senior year of college. Most recently, she coached for the C4 Volleyball Club of Chattanooga.
Jessica currently resides in Dayton, Tennessee with her husband, Jordan, who is an assistant coach for the Bryan College Baseball program. She and Jordan are members at New Union Baptist Church in Dayton.
Jones enters into her first season (2016-17) as an Assistant Head Coach in the Bryan Lions Volleyball program.
Jones was a three-year stand out for the University of Montana Grizzlies. During her time with the “Griz” (2011-2013), Jones was named to the Academic All-Big Sky Conference twice, while double majoring in psychology and communications.
Prior to her time at the University of Montana, Jones was a graduate of the Western Montana Home School Association where she began her competitive club volleyball career at age seven. Her mother, Marilou Jones, was the owner and club director of Montana Volleyball Academy (MVA), which is a highly respected USA Volleyball club program in Missoula, Montana.
Following her graduation from the University of Montana in 2014, Jones took her talent overseas to Thailand where she played for Athletes in Action, which is a Christian organization that works to spread the gospel through athletics. During her time in Thailand, Jones had the opportunity to play against several professional teams, coach numerous volleyball camps, and share the love of Jesus with others.
Jones began her coaching career at the age of 16, where she coached Junior Olympic Volleyball for Montana Volleyball Academy. Since her coaching start, Jones has had the privilege to work with volleyball players of all ages. Most recently, Jones was the Head Volleyball Coach at Loyola Sacred Heart High School (Mont.) where she led her varsity team to finish 5th in the State Tournament.
Coach Jones’ primary on-court responsibilities will include overseeing the team's offense. As the team's top assistant, she will also function as the Head JV Volleyball Coach. “I am very pleased to have Natalie join our coaching staff,” commented Coach Day. “She has a deep passion, not only for the game of volleyball, but for the Lord. I am excited to see how she will incorporate both passions to help our team get to the next level.
Natalie will be making the move from Missoula, Montana to Dayton, Tenn. in August.