Tom Mendoza excited to coach Gamecock volleyball team
On Tuesday, South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner officially introduced Tom Mendoza as the Gamecocks' new head volleyball coach. The program has been at South Carolina for 45 years, and Mendoza will be the team's 13th head coach in school history.
Tanner explained in Tuesday's introduction that one of the reasons for hiring Mendoza was his post-season results at his previous universities. Mendoza coached at High Point University for two seasons before coming to South Carolina where he led that program to two NCAA tournament appearances. Before going to High Point, he coached at Creighton for six seasons.
"The experience and growth that I was able to have and that experience with my teammates was something that I valued," Mendoza said about his reasons for becoming a volleyball coach. "I wanted to give that opportunity to future young players going through that process."
Mendoza also said he learned a lot from his previous coaching experiences, but is looking forward to the challenges coaching in the SEC brings.
"That's what we sign up for," Mendoza said. "I think that's what keeps you hungry each day and pushing yourself. There's lots of different paths to success. We don't have to win every match. We're probably not going to, but we try and instill that process that we're going to give ourselves a chance every single day."
The Gamecocks struggled in the 2017 season. They finished with an overall record of 12-18 and finished 5-13 in SEC play.