Head Coach Alexis Meeks-Rydell
Alexis Meeks-Rydell was named head volleyball coach at the University of South Alabama on Dec. 31, 2018.
Meeks-Rydell took over the Jaguar program after being voted the Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year in November 2018, as she led West Alabama to a 22-10 finish, school-record 13 league wins and the first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in school history. She guided the Tigers to a 58-40 mark overall — her .592 winning percentage is best in the UWA record book — and 33-19 GSC record over the last three years.
In addition to leading UWA to the NCAA Division II Tournament, Meeks-Rydell helped the program tie for second in the final regular-season conference standings for its highest finish since the 2009 season. Her efforts helped Kassie Till earn honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honors, with Till and fellow sophomore Madison Cooler receiving all-region recognition from the organization. The Tigers had four all-Gulf South honorees as well, including the league’s Setter and Freshman of the Year.
During the 2017 season, Meeks-Rydell guided the Tigers to a berth in the GSC Tournament following an 11-5 league finish as they tied for third in the regular-season standings while ending the year 19-14 overall. Under her direction that fall, Briana Sandifer was an honorable mention AVCA all-region selection, Till was voted the conference freshman of the year and two student-athletes garnered all-GSC accolades. In her first season directing the program UWA posted its first winning record in five years after going 17-16 overall.
Meeks-Rydell was an assistant on the Tiger staff in 2015 after serving as a graduate assistant at Augustana (S.D.) the previous fall.
A four-year letterwinner at IUPUI from 2010-13, Meeks-Rydell led the Jaguars in assists all four seasons while setting the school career record with 4,049, including recording 1,303 — the fifth-highest total on the program’s season record list — to be named the Summit League Setter of the Year as a senior. She was also voted to the conference’s All-Freshman Team in 2010 and was first-team all-league her final year in addition to being chosen the Tournament Most Valuable Player after leading IUPUI to the title and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2013. She helped lead the Jags to regular-season conference championships each of her final two seasons as well, with the team going 24-6 in league action during that stretch.
A 2014 graduate with a degree in communication studies and a business minor, Meeks-Rydell was named the female recipient of IUPUI’s Mel Garland Distinguished Student-Athlete Award — which recognizes athletic ability, scholarship, mental attitude, leadership and perseverance — her senior year. The Leo, Ind., native earned a master’s degree in sports administration and leadership from Augustana in 2018 as well.