Franklin, Simpson Join Volleyball Coaching Staff

Feb. 25, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa volleyball head coach Bond Shymansky announced the hiring of associate head coach Michaela Franklin and assistant coach Jackie Simpson this week. Each spent time on Shymansky’s coaching staff during his tenure at Marquette.

“It’s great for me to have a staff that I am confident in,” Shymansky said. “We’re all confident in each other, and we’re all driven and motivated by the same things, which are winning and being great. Michaela and Jackie have both shown me in tangible ways they can be successful at the small details and individual duties, and they can impact the program in a significant way.”

“They each bring something different to the table, and they have a nice combination of skill sets. But the thing they have in common is that they’re winners. We need that type of passion, drive and experience in our program to help us be better. They are committed enough to see the vision that Iowa volleyball has and really want to see that vision to its fruition.”

Franklin will serve as the recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator for the Hawkeyes, while Simpson will coordinate the offense and organize team camps.

“I’m really excited to come to Iowa and compete in the best volleyball conference in the country,” Franklin said. “I’m also super ecstatic about the opportunity to reunite with Bond after having the opportunity to work with him at Marquette. Going through the interview process and meeting everyone was a fun experience. I could see that people in athletics are excited about Iowa volleyball.”

“It’s definitely exciting to be back in the Big Ten, having played in the conference as an athlete, and more importantly to continue working for Bond and learning from him,” Simpson said. “He is a fantastic mentor and has a very clear vision of what he wants to do here. I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Franklin comes to Iowa after spending the 2013 season as the head volleyball coach at Green Bay. The Phoenix accomplished a 14-14 overall record and a 9-5 mark in Horizon League action. She had four players receive Horizon League honors at the end of the year, including three all-league selections and the conference Freshman of the Year. It was the second time in Green Bay history, and first time since 2003, that three earned all-league nods, and the first time in school history the Phoenix had a Freshman of the Year and a total of four postseason honorees.

Prior to her time at Green Bay, Franklin spent four seasons coaching alongside Shymansky as an assistant coach at Marquette. While there, she served as the team’s recruiting coordinator, trained the outside hitters and was the defense coordinator. The Golden Eagles appeared in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2011 and 2012, and placed second in the Big East Conference in 2012 with a 13-2 record. Franklin began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois from 2006-08.

Franklin played collegiate volleyball at Kansas State from 2002-04. She helped the Wildcats to a Big 12 Championship and three NCAA Tournament appearances. The Lincoln, Neb., native graduated with a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human services in 2005.

Simpson joins the staff after spending the 2013 season as an assistant coach at Marquette. She helped the Golden Eagles win their first Big East regular season title with a 15-1 record, win a conference tournament championship and secure their third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. Before Marquette, Simpson spent two seasons as an assistant coach and camp coordinator at East Carolina.

Simpson played collegiate volleyball at Wisconsin from 2004-07. The starting setter led the Badgers to the Elite Eight twice and the Sweet Sixteen once. She is a two-time AVCA All-Mideast Region honoree, two-time first team All-Big Ten selection, and an AVCA Second Team All-American. She also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. Simpson ended her career second in Badger history and 17th all-time in the Big Ten in assists, and 12th all-time at Wisconsin in blocks.

The Downers Grove, Ill., native spent one season as an assistant coach at Winona State before continuing her volleyball career in the professional ranks in Germany and Cyprus. In Germany, Simpson was the starting setter for VC Wiesbaden.

Simpson earned a bachelor’s degree in sports sociology in 2008 from Wisconsin and completed her master’s degree in sports psychology in 2013 at East Carolina.