“When we talk about the desire and long range plan to take our program to the next level, what better way than to hire someone who has massive NCAA tournament experience,” Pryor said of Tabberson. “She will be a great mentor to our players and help show them what it takes to be successful at a high level.”
That NCAA Tournament experience includes all four seasons, two as the starting setter for the Golden Gophers, including a Final Four appearance in 2009 to go along with an Elite Eight showing (2012) and a pair of Sweet Sixteen (2010, 11) performances. All told, the Muncie, Ind., native led the Gophers to a 101-38 record in her playing career. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and finished her career with over 2,500 career assists (2,565).
“Mia has played for some elite volleyball minds, and her experiences will only add to our staff and gym culture,” Pryor said. “Playing for a legend like Mike Hebert and former men’s and women’s Olympic coach Hugh McCutcheon (current UM head coach) has given her an opportunity to really absorb technique and training ideas from some great mentors. Her high school club coach Mike Lingenfelter with Munciana volleyball club may be the best trainer in the nation. If he’s not, he’s really, really close. So she’s been around the best there is, so she will add definitive value to our staff.”
Following her playing career, Tabberson has been working with Northern Lights Volleyball Club, a nationally-recognized club in the Twin Cities. She was an assistant coach with the 18-under team, the top team for the elite group. She was the head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity volleyball coach at Roseville High School, where she also worked as a one-on-one special needs assistant.
“I realize how necessary it is to have a staff that is well respected within the entire Minnesota volleyball community, and as a Gopher alum, a high school coach, and a club coach within Northern Lights Volleyball Club, she will definitely be able to fill that need.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level at a successful program,” Tabberson said. “I really look forward to the season getting started and working with the girls to help them develop into the best student-athletes they can be.”