Coach has earned her stripes
Head coach Van Compton has been at the helm of UALR’s volleyball program for 22 seasons.
“From (when I was) a little girl, I’ve always loved to play games outside and when I went to college a lot of my friends majored in physical education and became coaches so that is what I majored in,” she said.
A native of Forrest City, she graduated from Arkansas State University and returned home to teach high school. She went on to teach in college as well.
“I was at Lyon College (previously known as Arkansas College) for 11 years and I coached womens basketball and volleyball,” she said.
Her philosophy is simple; athletes are students first. Compton said she understands that being a good athlete begins with being a good student.
“Our number one goal is to graduate each and every athlete that (comes) through this program,” she said. “Our second goal is to win as many volleyball games as possible.”
To do that, she likes to try and build confidence and motivate her players through tough practices.
“We practice harder than our matches could be,” she said, “so that our matches will be easier.” She also said she relies on good scouting reports to help formulate her gameplan.
With as many freshman as she has this year, Compton said she knew they would need to grow up a little faster than usual. She said this all begins in the preseason with a rigorous non-conference schedule she puts together for her athletes.
“I never have backed away from good competition,” she said.
Over her 22 seasons, Compton has amassed a 400-289 record, three regular season Sun Belt Conference Championships, four SBC tournament championships and four NCAA tournament appearances.