HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Coker College vice president of athletics and facilities Dr. Lynn Griffin announced today that Julia Rafalowski has been appointed as head men's volleyball coach, while remaining her duties as the head women's volleyball coach.
"We are excited to have Julia take over as the head coach of our men's volleyball program," Griffin said. "After a national search we are convinced that Julia brings the experience and proven success to the program. Julia is heading into her third season with the women's volleyball program and understands the expectations of our student-athletes on and off of the court."
Rafalowski took over the men's volleyball program this past season as the interim head coach on Mar. 24. During her stint with the men's volleyball team in 2017, Rafalowski led the Cobras to a 5-2 record and a berth in the inaugural Independent Volleyball Association (IVA) championship game. Under Rafalowski, Four Cobras made the All-IVA Tournament Team in Artur Cabral, Luca Berger, Stephen Porras, and Gary Baker. Cabral finished the IVA Tournament with 46 kills, while Berger completed the tournament with 12 kills and 11 total blocks. Stephen Porras dished out 77 assists and Gary Baker collected 26 digs during the tournament. In addition, Baker broke the Coker single season digs per set record, averaging 2.21.
"I am honored and thankful that President Wyatt and Dr. Griffin would have such faith in me and give me the opportunity to continue to work with the men's volleyball team," said Rafalowski. "I'm very excited about the future with this group of men that have such a strong core of good players already in place. I'm looking forward to learning from both programs and implementing those lessons to make both teams better."
In addition to her duties as the head men's volleyball coach, Rafalowski will enter her third season at the helm of the women's volleyball program. In her second season leading the women's volleyball team, Rafalowski guided the Navy and Gold to 13 wins and a season sweep over Carson-Newman. She coached CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District outside hitter Madison Bingle and led the team to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Team Excellence Award at the third annual FANG Awards by partaking in events on Coker's campus, while also engaging in numerous community engagement projects in Hartsville.
Before coming to Coker, she served as the head coach for the Sullivan East High School women's volleyball team in Bluff City, Tenn. In six years as the head coach she compiled a 163-116 overall record and was 45-7 in conference. She led her team to four conference championships, three district championships, and to the Tennessee state tournament in four out of six seasons. Many of her players received postseason honors during her time including three conference players of the year, 22 all-conference selections, a conference setter and libero of the year, two conference hitters of the year and two all-state players.
Before coaching at Sullivan East, Rafalowski spent two years as an assistant coach at Carson-Newman. During her time with the Eagles the women went 48-26, earning a bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. She also coached three All-SAC selections and an all-region player.
As a player Rafalowski was a four-year member of the King University women's volleyball team. She helped guide the Tornado to four Appalachian Conference regular and tournament championships, a regional championship and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament.
Rafalowski holds a bachelor of science in mathematics from King, a master's of arts in teaching from Carson-Newman and an educational specialist degree from Union College.