Former Morgan State volleyball standout and assistant coach Ashley Preston has been named the new head volleyball coach at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga. Preston, who enters her fourth season of coaching and first as a head coach, takes over the helm of a Jaguar program which went 5-23 last season, including 1-6 in the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC).

“I’m so excited that Spelman is giving me an opportunity to live out my goal of being a head coach at an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities),” said Preston on her hiring. “At Spelman I hope to bring the skills that I have learned from the great coaches in my career and the competitiveness that I had at my alma mater (Morgan State). I’m truly fortunate to be given this chance at my age and I hope I make everyone who has helped me get here proud.”

Last season Preston served as an assistant coach at nearby Loyola (Md.), ending six consecutive years as a part of the Morgan State volleyball program, including the last two as assistant coach. In her lone season at Loyola, Preston helped the Greyhounds to a 14-20 overall mark and 8-10 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

Prior to her stint at Loyola, Preston spent two seasons as assistant coach at her alma mater. A four-year starter at Morgan State as a libero, Preston ended her career as the school’s all-time leader in digs with 2,066. She led the team in digs all four seasons and was a three-time first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) selection during her first three seasons.

Preston set the school’s single-season digs record as a sophomore with 640, breaking the previous mark of 525 which she set as a freshman. As a junior, Preston was essential to the Lady Bears having one of their best seasons in five years, helping Morgan State to a 23-9 overall mark, a 10-0 MEAC North Division record and a trip to the league title match. Preston again led the team in digs, finishing with 489, while ranking third in the MEAC, en route to her third consecutive all-conference first team honor.

A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Preston was a three-time recipient of the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Award and garnered Arthur Ashe Scholar’s first team honors as a junior. Following her junior season Preston also earned the Elijah Rowe Award, which goes to the female athlete with the highest grade point average at Morgan State.

Preston graduated in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and was honored that summer as Morgan State’s representative for the MEAC Woman of the Year Award.


Kevin Paige

Special to the AFRO