DeLand, Fla. - Deng Yang, a former NAIA National Player of the Year and 17-year coaching veteran at the University of Missouri, has been named head indoor volleyball coach at Stetson University, Athletics Director Jeff Altier announced on Tuesday.
Deng Yang (pronounced DEN YOUNG) has spent the past 17 seasons as an assistant coach Missouri, helping lead the Tigers to two SEC Championships, 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, and an Elite Eight run in 2005, and a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2016.
"I am excited for the opportunity to have Deng Yang join the volleyball program here at Stetson," Senior Associate Athletic Director Alicia Queally said. "She is an exceptional coach and person. From the very beginning of the search process, she stood out to the committee. She embodies each of the core values that we look for when guiding our teams to reach their potential both on and off the court. She has a demonstrated knowledge of what it takes to lead a team to be successful, as she has significant success playing and coaching at some of the highest levels both in the U.S. and China. I know that Deng will do well for us at Stetson, and I look forward to working with her."
In 2016, Yang helped lead Missouri to a 27-6 record and the team's second SEC Championship in the past four years. As the No. 15 national seed in the NCAA tournament, the Tigers defeated Northern Illinois and Purdue to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010. Missouri finished the season ranked 16th in the national poll.
"I would like to thank Athletic Director Jeff Altier and Senior Associate Athletic Director Alicia Queally for giving me the opportunity to lead the Stetson indoor volleyball program," Yang said. "I am honored and very excited to help the program find its identity and build a winning tradition. I'm so looking forward to getting to know the players and staff. I'm confident that we are going to build strong relationships and work hard together to move the program forward."
Yang had tremendous success working with setters and hitters during her tenure at Missouri. In all, 12 of Yang's student-athletes earned a total of 19 AVCA All-America honors. Carly Kan, a senior outside hitter in 2016, was a two-time All-American and a two-time selection to the U.S. Collegiate National Team. Sophomore middle Alyssa Munn, the 2015 SEC Freshman of the Year and AVCA Southeast Region Freshman of the Year, has earned All-America honors in each of her first two seasons. Outside hitter Melanie Crow also earned All-America honors in 2016, giving the program three All-Americans this past season.
"We are excited for Deng Yang as she takes this next step in her coaching career," Missouri head coach Wayne Kreklow said. "I think it is a great move and a great fit for both Stetson and Deng Yang. She has been an outstanding assistant coach and has all the tools to be a great head coach. I think Stetson made a great choice and she is going to do great things. All of us at Mizzou wish her the best of luck!"
Yang has also been instrumental in Missouri's academic success. The Tigers earned three consecutive AVCA Team Academic awards (2014-16), and the team's 3.57 GPA in 2015-16 was the highest in program history.
Yang moved to the U.S from China in 1998 and played two seasons for the Columbia College women's volleyball team. As a right side hitter in 1998 and as a setter in 1999, she helped lead Columbia to two NAIA national championship titles. She was named the 1999 AVCA/NAIA National Player of the Year and the MVP of the NAIA national tournament.
A native of Chang Zhou, China, Yang competed three years for the Chinese Junior National team and one year for the Chinese Women's National Team. In 1995, Team China won the World Grand Prix Championship and took the Bronze medal in the World Cup.
Yang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in 2002. She is currently working on a Masters of Education and School Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri.