Kennesaw State volleyball has announced the hiring of Garrett Bitter, head coach Keith Schunzel announced on Tuesday, February 6.
Bitter will be the recruiting coordinator, camp director and work closely with the passers, defense, practice planning and training, as well as all other aspects of the program.
"Adding Garrett to our staff and volleyball family is a home run hire for Kennesaw State Volleyball," Schunzel said. "Garrett is as big of a student of the game as you'll find and he has the pedigree, work ethic, communication skills, and desire to be great that will help this program continue to move forward. Our players will find out very quickly that he absolutely loves this sport, he truly enjoys coaching, he is a life-long learner always looking to improve and he is really passionate about impacting those around him. Garrett is a perfect fit for us in so many ways and I could not be more excited for him to be an Owl."
This past season, Bitter coached at Mississippi State after previously coaching at Stony Brook.
In his year at Stony Brook, he helped produce a pair of America East All-Conference honorees, as McKyla Brooks was named All-America East First Team and Maria Poole earned All-America East Rookie Team laurels. The Seawolves finished the year second in the America East in hitting percentage (.197), total assists (1,274), total kills (1,382) and total attacks (3,736).
A libero in his own playing days, Bitter was responsible for the growth and development of Stony Brook setter Morgan Kath, who finished the season second in the league with 926 assists and third with 9.65 assists per set. Kath wrapped up her sophomore campaign standing fourth on the school's all-time assists per set list and seventh on the total assists chart.
Three years before heading to New York, Bitter served as an assistant at IPFW. While with the Mastodons, Bitter worked primarily with the program's setters while also overseeing offensive game planning, scouting, recruiting and video analysis. In his first season in 2013, IPFW setter Madison Spence led the Summit League with 11.01 assists per set. In 2015, Bitter coached freshman setter Madison Jaqua to a Summit League All-Freshman team honor.
Bitter played at IPFW while also participating on multiple teams at the Sports Performance Volleyball Club. He was a 2010 MIVA Academic All-Conference selection as a Mastodon and a two-time team captain on the club scene.
Bitter holds both a bachelors and masters degree from IPFW, graduating in 2012 with a bachelors in mathematics teaching before gaining his masters in educational leadership in 2015.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
riana Schunzel became the Kennesaw State volleyball volunteer assistant before the 2015 season.
“It would be an understatement to say we're incredibly fortunate to have a player and coach of Briana's stature to officially join our program as a volunteer assistant coach,” Schunzel said. “From being a collegiate all-american, to a professional player in Europe, to starting multiple youth clubs to training high level athletes, Bri's experience in the game is pretty remarkable. With her addition, we have now added another strong woman who's passionate about helping our student-athletes succeed. Bri is a great communicator, mentor, leader and role model...All traits that are invaluable to our players, to our staff and to our program.”
Before going overseas to play professional volleyball in Paris, Schunzel was an Honorable Mention All-American, National Setter of the Year and Mid-American Conference Player of the Year while playing varsity volleyball for the Ohio Bobcats. She also led her team to two consecutive Mid-American Conference Championships and NCAA appearances.
Schunzel led the Bobcats in her senior season to school record 29 wins, the first-ever national ranking in the program's history, and a victory over Pittsburgh in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The setter compiled a school record 4,767 career assists and still holds a total of three career Ohio records. In addition to the MAC honors she received following her senior campaign, Schunzel was named AVCA All-Mideast Region, Honorable Mention AVCA All-American, and the Collegiate Volleyball Update
National Setter of the Year.
At Kennesaw State, she will be the setters coach, oversee offensive systems, assist with practice planning and team training.
Schunzel is married to head coach Keith Schunzel. Them and their son, Griffin, reside in Marietta.