Statement from Lisa Rhodes:
"I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to coach a sport that I love for the past 27 years. Everyone in the coaching profession understands fully the time and commitment it takes to perform this job. After much thought and deliberation, I am announcing my retirement. My family has been my biggest supporter throughout my career and now it is time for me to focus all my energy and time back into my family. While at UTC, the volleyball program has enjoyed many victories and successes, both on and off the court. I can step away knowing that I am leaving not only a volleyball team, but also a successful program. I would like to thank all the coaches and staff at UTC, along with all of my student-athletes, both past and present, for all of the memories."
Rhodes took over the Lady Mocs' program in 1994, inheriting a team that had won just nine matches the previous two seasons. In two quick years of rebuilding, she guided Chattanooga to the 1996 Southern Conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. That was the first of three-straight SoCon Championships and three trips to the postseason.
In 1997, the Lady Mocs became the first team in conference history to post a perfect league record. UTC was 16-0 in conference play en route to winning the school's first-ever regular-season conference crown. Chattanooga also won a school-record 26 matches for the second consecutive season.
UTC made it back to the NCAAs in 1998, repeating as the SoCon regular season and tournament champions. Rhodes also took home the first of back-to-back SoCon Coach of the Year honors that season.
"I would like to thank Coach Rhodes for her years of service to our volleyball program, the University and the Chattanooga community," stated Director of Athletics Rick Hart. "Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Chattanooga Volleyball has a strong reputation in the region and will attract some very qualified candidates for her replacement."
Rhodes finishes her career with a 280-284 (.496) overall mark at UTC. However, if you remove her first two rebuilding seasons at Chattanooga, her record is 269-225 (.545) over the last 15 years. On top of her three SoCon titles, she also finished second in the league an additional three times with 10 winning seasons overall.
Rhodes coached three SoCon Players/Liberos of the Year, including two-time National Libero of the Year Lara Newberry. Newberry (2005-08) holds the NCAA career record for digs with 3,176 and is one of three SoCon Freshmen of the Year honorees during Rhodes tenure.
Off the court, Rhodes was a firm believer in working hard in the classroom. The Lady Mocs were recognized in 2010 with the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for posting a 3.53 grade-point-average. Seven student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 g.p.a. in the spring of 2010, setting a new UTC record for one semester.
Prior to taking over the Lady Mocs, Rhodes began her coaching career at UNC Asheville. In five seasons (1989-93), she led the Lady Bulldogs to a 97-79 (.551) record and three Big South Conference titles. In 1991, she guided UNC Asheville to the NIVC National Championships in Dayton, Ohio. She finishes her 22-year career as a collegiate head coach with a record of 377-363 (.509) and six conference titles.
Rhodes earned a bachelor's of science in Physical Education and graduated cum laude from Appalachian State in 1983. In 1989, Rhodes earned a Master's degree in Education from Gardner-Webb. A member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, Rhodes represented the Southern Conference on the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll. She and her husband, Jim, have two children, Trent and Courtney.