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Bears hire Barringer as new volleyball coach
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Bears hire Barringer as new volleyball coach

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Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate announced last week the hiring of Nicole Barringer as the head coach of Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball. Barringer becomes the 11th coach in program history and comes to Hickory after a very successful four-year stint at William Peace University in Raleigh.

“I am thrilled to welcome Nicole to the Lenoir-Rhyne family,” Pate said. “Nicole brings a proven record of success to L-R along with tremendous leadership qualities. She is a rising star in the volleyball coaching ranks and has a true passion for developing student-athletes on and off the court. I am confident she will build on the foundation established this past season to take our program to new heights.”

“First of all, I would like to thank Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate, President Fred Whitt and the search committee for providing me the amazing opportunity to be the next leader of the Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball program,” Barringer added. “I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to be a part of the Lenoir-Rhyne family. I look forward to continued success with a passion for excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”

At William Peace, Barringer compiled an 81-29 mark over her four years and produced three first team all-conference selections, seven First Team All-East Division selections and five Second Team All-East Division student-athletes while also producing the 2018 Freshman Libero of the Year.

Barringer’s 2018 squad achieved William Peace’s first-ever conference championship title in any sport as the Pacers went 24-6 overall and 15-1 in the USA South Athletic Conference. The following year, William Peace went 24-8 and 12-4 in league play, was a perfect 7-0 in USA South matches and won the East Division during the 2020 COVID season. Most recently, the Pacers produced a 12-4 record in conference play in 2021 and earned a top three finish in the league.

Off the court, Barringer’s teams had the highest GPA in William Peace’s department and won back-to-back American Volleyball Coaches Association Academic Awards in 2019 and 2020.

A standout student-athlete in her own right, Barringer graduated from Averett University in 2015 and earned a master’s in business administration in 2017 while serving as a graduate assistant coach. Barringer was the USA South Conference Woman of the Year in 2015 and also earned the Don Scalf Award which is given to the top female in the league. Barringer was an AVCA All-American in 2014 and a four-time all-conference selection as a setter. She was named all-region in 2014 and twice made all-state. Barringer is second in Averett history in career assists with 4,654 and the Cougars won at least 20 matches in each of her four seasons. Barringer was elected to the Averett Athletics Hall of Fame in October 2020.

Following her time as a graduate assistant at Averett, Barringer earned some South Atlantic Conference experience in 2017 as the assistant coach at Catawba. Following that season, she would go on to be named the head coach at William Peace.

Her first move as the head coach is to announce that Mark Wimberley will remain on staff, serving as the assistant coach. Wimberley filled in as the interim head coach during the 2021 season and led the Bears to a 24-8 overall mark and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where L-R advanced to the Sweet 16.

“I am thrilled to have Mark Wimberley stay on the staff as I join the program,” said Barringer. “Coach Wimberley has a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills that have proven successful for this program. I look forward to working with Coach Wimberley to lead this program to continued excellence.”

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