Allison Burchyett, long-time DeSoto County high school volleyball coach, first at Southaven High School and the past five years at Lewisburg, has been named the first volleyball coach at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Northwest is the third community college in Mississippi to begin competitive volleyball, after Pearl River started this past season. Itawamba became the second school to announce their intentions to begin playing next fall and Northwest will be the third.
Volleyball is to become the 10th athletic program offered at the Senatobia school. The team will play on campus at Howard Coliseum.
The National Junior College Athletic Association reports 320 schools offer volleyball.
Burchyett was chosen from a pool of national applicants and will start next month.
"I am very excited to be a part of starting the volleyball program at Northwest," Burchyett said. "I'm ready to be a part of Northwest and all the great things that are already happening on campus. I'm ready to do whatever I can to help promote this sport and its growth throughout the state and I am excited for the future."
Burchyett comes from Lewisburg High School in Olive Branch, where she established a tradition of consistency as one of the winningest programs in Mississippi through the last five years. Since taking over as head coach prior to the start of the 2015 season, Burchyett has compiled a 142-55-2 record for a .718 winning percentage, while guiding the Lady Patriots to the 2015 Class II state championship, two runner-up finishes and two semifinal appearances.
Prior to her stint at Lewisburg, Burchyett taught for 15 years at Southaven High School beginning in 2002. From 2002-14, she also served as head coach for the school's varsity volleyball program and led the Lady Chargers to three state titles (2006, 2008, 2013). Her 2006 team also finished the year with an unblemished 45-0 overall record.
Throughout her career at Lewisburg and Southaven, Burchyett has garnered over 500 career victories with 16 semifinal appearances, leading her to receive four state Coach of the Year awards and receive a spot as co-chair of the Mississippi Association of Coaches Volleyball Committee from 2005-19.
Prior to her stint at Southaven, Burchyett helped establish the volleyball program at Lafayette High School in 2000 and also served as head coach of the volleyball program at Valley View High School in Jonesboro, Ark. from 1998-2000. Before that, Burchyett took her first teaching and coaching job at Willow Springs (Mo.) High School from 1997-98, serving as an assistant coach for volleyball, basketball and track.
"We are beyond excited to have Coach Burchyett start the volleyball program at Northwest," athletic director Brian Oakes said. "She brings a wealth of knowledge and successful experience along with being instrumental in the rapid growth of volleyball in Mississippi. This will give young women an opportunity to continue their education through athletics under her leadership and we couldn't be more excited to have her on board."
Burchyett is a native of Jonesboro, Ark. and a 1997 graduate of Southwest Baptist University and holds a Bachelor of Science in physical education. She and her husband, Tyler, have two children, Barrett (15) and Baylee (12).
Northwest Mississippi Community College Sports Information Director Brian Lentz contributed to this article.