Volleyball coach breaks record

By Sports Editor Jacob Cole

Stephanie Radecki is currently in the middle of season 14 at North Alabama.

Early this season, she broke the record for most wins by a volleyball coach in Lions’ history by passing the 313 mark. Although this is a huge accomplishment for her, Radecki said Matt Peck is still the official “winningest coach” of UNA Volleyball.

“His winning percentage at UNA is so impressive,” Radecki said. “It is because of Matt that I have even had a chance to be a part of UNA Volleyball,” Radecki said. “Surpassing career wins is a huge accomplishment and it is exciting, but it is not just mine. I have been so fortunate to work with outstanding coaches and players and because of them we were able to achieve a lot of success and have a lot of fun.”

After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, Radecki served as a student assistant coach at Edinboro for one year. Then, Peck offered her a Graduate Assistant position at UNA where she stayed for two years during 1998 and 1999.

Coaching was not the original plan for Radecki. Throughout high school and college, Radecki said she was always coaching, but the profession seemed to find her. Radecki would take over practice when her college coach was out recruiting, which she says was not necessarily positive.

“I was head strong and stubborn, but there was a part of coaching that was always inside me,” Radecki said.

Radecki achieved numerous accomplishments as a coach, but she said being inducted into the Edinboro Athletic Hall of Fame was special to her.

“I am very proud of my alma mater and the opportunity I was given to represent them on the court while receiving my degree,” Radecki said.

As a coach, Radecki said she tries to hold herself and others to a high standard and laugh a lot in the process.

“I try to do what I can to help our players get better every day,” Radecki said. “As a person, student, and player.”

In Meadville, Pennsylvania, Radecki’s journey with volleyball started in junior high school.

“I was a huge basketball girl,” Radecki said. “That was my first love. My friends had to convince me to try out for volleyball and the rest is history.”

Volleyball quickly made its home in Radecki’s heart. She was offered to play at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and was offered a $500 scholarship to play volleyball in college.

Radecki said that being able to play in college helped her with coaching.

Radecki graduated from Edinboro in 1998. During her time at Edinboro, Radecki achieved the following accomplishments: team captain, Female Athlete of the Year, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, All-PSAC and All-Atlantic Region twice.

Lexie Bradley, a senior volleyball player, said Radecki has been a great coach through the years, and she really exceeds at obtaining the UNA tradition of winning. Bradley also said Radecki knows when to be tough on the team, and when to take it easy on them.

“She had taught me how to have fun through the sometimes ‘monotonous’ parts of any job,” Bradley said. “I never thought coming in as a freshman how strong, mentally and physically, I would learn to become. She has played a huge part in that.”

Radecki said that UNA has always been one thing to her.

“Fun,” Radecki said. “I have had a lot of fun at UNA.”