Kiracofe adds former North Dakota head coach Hardee to coaching staff


As Sean Kiracofe’s Northwestern State volleyball team moves into its second week of preseason camp, the third-year head coach has announced a veteran addition to his coaching staff.

Former University of North Dakota head coach Ashley Hardee has joined the NSU staff as an assistant coach, rounding out Kiracofe’s staff. He joins assistant coach Stacey DiFrancesco and volunteer assistant coach Antonie Godin on the staff.

Hardee replaces associate head coach Alicia Roth, who departed in July to take the head coaching position at Johnson and Wales University in Denver. His hiring is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.

“Being put in a situation where you are looking to complete your staff late in the year is never easy,” Kiracofe said. “I was put at ease because I am comfortable with the potential of this season’s team, but I cannot express how fortunate I feel to end up with someone like Ashley with his experience and success.”

Hardee spent five years as the head coach at North Dakota, completing a 122-63 record and capturing three regular-season conference championships and three conference tournament titles. Hardee twice was named the conference coach of the year while at North Dakota.

Hardee was the 2010 Associated Press North Dakota Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 25-5 mark and a sweep of the Great West Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

After his successful run at North Dakota, Hardee moved to UAB, serving as an assistant coach then the associate head coach for the 2014-16 seasons.
He also spent the 2016-17 season as the interim head beach volleyball coach for the Blazers, leading UAB to a berth in the CCSA Championships.
Hardee began his collegiate coaching career at New Mexico State, working his way from volunteer assistant to associate head coach in an eight-year run from 2001-08. While in Las Cruces, Hardee showed his mettle as a recruiter, bringing three All-Americans to play for the Aggies.

His coaching acumen showed as five of his teams reached the NCAA Tournament.
Hardee has extensive coaching experience in club volleyball and with USA Volleyball, including coaching the 2006 High Performance National Select champions. He founded the East Carolina Juniors Volleyball Club in Greenville, North Carolina, and twice led the Diamondback Volleyball Club of Las Cruces to the Junior Olympic Nationals.
“His position coaching fits exactly with what I was looking for, and on top of everything, I have known Ashley since the very beginning of my collegiate coaching career,” Kiracofe said. “I know the team and I are going to benefit from having Ashley in the gym on the bench.”

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services