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Montana State Bobcats add former All-American Carly Thomas to volleyball staff

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Posted at 1:29 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 15:40:17-05

(Editor's Note: Montana State athletics release)

BOZEMAN -- Former Missouri State assistant coach and All-American Carly Thomas has been named an assistant coach at Montana State University, announced Bobcat head coach Daniel Jones on Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas, who was a 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Honorable Mention honoree at Missouri State as a setter, coached for her alma mater last fall. She also served as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State during the 2018 season.

“After an extensive nationwide search, I am thrilled to announce Carly Thomas as the newest member of the Montana State volleyball staff,” Jones said. ““It’s been a long time coming, and I believe the wait has paid off.

I want to thank (assistant coach) Cole (Aiazzi) for the incredible job he has done filling the void as we navigated last season with just the two of us,” Jones continued. “We are both excited to have the additional hands and eyes in the gym to help propel Bobcat volleyball through the next stage of our growth.”

In the last two years, Thomas helped in all facets of the programs where she has worked, including practice and individual skill planning, scouting, team travel, equipment, game-day operations and compliance. Thomas entered the college coaching ranks with MSU’s beach volleyball program for its inaugural spring 2018 season, helping the Bears to a 7-10 record.

“Carly comes from a very high level and competitive program in Missouri State,” Jones said. “She has grown up in the gym and it shows in her knowledge of game. She stood out in each step of the process. Her ability to articulate and communicate with both the staff and athletes was what truly helped her stand out among a group of impressive candidates.”

As a player, Thomas was a three-time all-Missouri Valley Conference First-Team selection. She was an AVCA All-Region pick in 2012 and 2013 and was a NCAA National Player of the Week in 2012. Thomas garnered six MVC Player of the Week accolades during her tenure with the Bears and left the program second all-time with 4,708 assists.

Thomas also has USA Volleyball experience training with the USA Junior National Team from 2008-10, where she earned NORCECA Best Setter award in 2008.

“Daniel and Cole are building something special that I really want to be a part of, and I’m excited to be here,” Thomas said. “I think I have a good eye for the offensive side of the game. I competed at a high level as a setter myself, so being able to train setters is my passion. I look forward to building connections with the girls and to help them not only in their volleyball careers, but to also be a resource to help them when they’re done playing.”

After her MSU playing career, Thomas spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Ozark High School under former MSU volleyball player Adeana (McAfee) Brewer, earning Large Class Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association in 2016. She also spent time on the sidelines coaching club and Community Olympic Development Program teams.

Originally from Swansea, Ill., Thomas graduated from Missouri State in May 2015 with a degree in sport and park administration.