Rick Nold Volleyball Camps
Experience: 7th Season
Alma Mater: Louisville, 1998
The 2017 season will be Rick Nold's seventh as Auburn’s head volleyball coach after being named the 10th head coach in program history on April 10, 2011.
In his six seasons on the Plains, Nold has put together a 93-89 overall record (.511). He enters the season with a career winning percentage of .586 in 16 years as a collegiate head coach, having a 265-187 mark.
Auburn had one of its best finishes in the Southeastern Conference in 2016, going 9-9 and finishing tied for fifth overall. The league finish was the best for the program since 2010 as the squad went 15-16 overall. Jesse Earl and Alexa Filley had successful campaigns, being named All-SEC and honored by the AVCA All-South region. Earl and Filley both reached 1,000 career digs as juniors last season and Earl's path to that total marked the fasted by any Tiger in program history. Auburn newcomer Gwyn Jones picked up SEC All-Freshman honors, marking the second-straight season a Tiger has been recognized. The team picked up another upset over a nationally-ranked squad in 2016, earning a come-from-behind victory over then-No. 21 Louisville on the road in five sets.
The 2015 season was an exciting one for the young Tiger team as the squad went 18-12 overall and came in sixth in the conference with an 10-8 mark. The team upped its defensive presence from the previous season and finished second overall among SEC opponents with a 15.62 digs/set average. Freshman Brenna McIlroy earned SEC All-Freshman accolades, marking the first time since 2010 that a Tiger newbie was honored by the league. Stephanie Campbell was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year – the fourth honor in program history. Auburn’s 3-2 win over then-No. 11 Florida was the team’s first win over a nationally-ranked opponent since 2013 and snapped a 41-match losing streak to the Gators. Auburn finished 11-3 at home in Auburn Arena.
The Tigers finished 19-11 during the 2013 season, tying for sixth in the SEC with a 10-8 conference record. The 10 victories in SEC play were the most by the Tigers since 2010 and just the second time in the last 15 years that Auburn posted 10 wins in league action. Nold also guided the Tigers to their first-ever win over a top-10 opponent, knocking off No. 10 Nebraska, 3-1.
His second season (2012) saw a six-match improvement from his first as he took the Tigers from an 11-19 mark (5-15 SEC) in 2011 to a 17-13 record (8-12 SEC) in 2012. He led the Tigers to nine straight wins to open the season, the second-longest winning streak in program history. Nold also picked up his 200th career head coaching victory on Nov. 4 with a 3-1 win over Georgia.
During his time at Auburn, Nold’s players have re-written the Tigers’ record book. Camila Jersonsky finished her career as Auburn’s all-time leader in hitting percentage (.355), while also ranking in the top-10 in program history with 368 total blocks, 317 block assists, blocks per set and solo blocks.
Under Nold’s tutelage, Katherine Culwell and Sarah Wroblicky etched their names in the record book during the 2013 season as Culwell picked up her 1,000 career kill, while Wroblicky collected her 1,000 career dig.
Nold came to Auburn after directing Jacksonville State to unprecedented heights during his nine-year tenure, winning three regular season conference titles, three conference tournament titles and making three NCAA postseason appearances. He compiled an overall record of 172-98, while posting an impressive 107-42 (72 percent) mark in league games.
A three-time conference Coach of the Year, Nold led the Gamecocks to Ohio Valley Conference regular season or tournament title in four of the previous six seasons. He captured the OVC regular season in 2006, ‘07 and ‘09, while winning the conference tournament title in 2005, ‘06 and ‘09.
Jacksonville State advanced to the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2005, ‘06 and ‘09 under Nold, the only NCAA postseason appearances in the program’s history. In 2009, Nold led the program to another milestone, by winning the school’s first NCAA Tournament match, defeating Florida A&M.
Nold’s 2009 team finished the season 27-8, which was the most wins in program history, swept both conference titles and advanced to the NCAA second round. He was rewarded by being named the OVC Coach of the Year as well as the Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
In 2006, the Gamecocks were 24-5 overall and posted a perfect 18-0 mark in conference play, sweeping all but one conference match. At one time that season, JSU won 49 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the nation.
Nold came to Jacksonville State from his alma mater, Louisville, where he spent six years on the Cardinals’ staff, the last four as a full-time assistant whose duties included recruiting coordinator. During his time at Louisville, the Cardinals won four Conference USA titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament five times, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1996 and 1998. He was the head coach of the 16-and-under and 18-and-under teams for the Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Academy in Louisville, where he coached teams that won the 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 AAU National Championships. His teams also earned Top 5 finishes at the USA Volleyball National Championships in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001. He also served as president of the Cheaha Juniors Volleyball Club program from 2002-03.
Nold began his coaching career as an assistant at Assumption High School in his hometown, where he helped the girls’ varsity squad to three state championships and a 137-9 overall record before joining the University of Louisville staff in 1996. Nold served as an intern with USA Volleyball, where he assisted the women’s national team in preparations for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He received a bachelor’s degree from Louisville in the spring of 1998 in Sports Administration.
He is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, the Association of Volleyball Professionals and USA Volleyball Impact Certified Coach. He also serves on the All-Region and All-America selections committees.
Experience: 7th Season
Alma Mater: Jacksonville State, 2001
Eysha Ambler enters her seventh season in 2017 as an assistant coach for the Auburn volleyball team. She serves as the Tigers’ recruiting coordinator. A former assistant under Nold at Jacksonville State from 2002-04, Ambler spent the previous two years as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.
While at Pittsburgh, Ambler worked primarily with the Panthers’ middles and blockers. During her first season with the team, Pitt ranked 38th in the country in hitting percentage with a .247 mark. Ambler also mentored middle hitter Meagan Dooley, who became the program’s third AVCA All-American.
A native of Ozark, Ala., Ambler also organized team travel, summer camps, managed the budget and monitored the academics and eligibility of the squad while at Pitt.
Prior to Pitt, Amber spent five years at Tennessee State, where she helped lead the Lady Tigers to a pair of Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) titles and the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.
During her time at TSU, she also served as a recruiting coordinator and volleyball operations director. She was instrumental in aiding the students with their academic progress and helping them develop quality tutorial programs, while organizing and balancing the volleyball program budget.
Prior to TSU she spent two seasons at Jacksonville State as a graduate assistant. At JSU, she monitored the academic progress of student-athletes, organized travel and film exchange and managed home tournaments and match activities for the volleyball team.
Ambler played two years on the Jacksonville State volleyball squad after transferring from Northwest-Shoals Community College. At JSU she made her mark in the history books as the all-time single-season leader for blocks per game (1.7). She finished her career ranked fourth and seventh in block assists in a single season (92 and 72 respectively) and third in solo blocks (31) in a single season.
Ambler was the first three-sport letterman at Jacksonville State dating back to 1985, earning letters in basketball, track and field and volleyball. She graduated from JSU in 2001 with a B.S. in business management and later got her B.S. in education in 2004.
She has worked as the head coach the Pittsburgh Elite Volleyball Club (2009-11) and the Nashville One Volleyball Club (2008-09), while also serving as an assistant with Impact Volleyball Club (2008) in Nashville.
Alma Mater: Clarke, 2011
Experience: 1st Season
Alex Wilharm joined the Auburn volleyball program March 1, 2017.
Wilharm comes to The Plains following a six-year stint at Louisville. He spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant with the Cardinals before being elevated to assistant in 2013. Wilharm served as an associate head coach for the 2016 season.
In 2016, he was named as one of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award winners for that year. This award was created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport.
Wilharm brings a wealth of postseason experience to the Auburn program. As an assistant coach with Louisville, he helped the Cardinals to a 2015 ACC Conference championship and a 2013 America Athletic Conference title. The team advanced to the NCAA Second Round in each of those seasons.
During his six years with the Louisville program, Wilharm was a part of four NCAA appearances, two NCAA Tournament top 16 seeds, an ACC Championship, two Big East Championships and a Big East Tournament Championship with Louisville. He coached three conference Players of the Year, two conference Freshmen of the Year, the Conference Setter of the Year and two conference defensive players of the year. In all, he has coached eight AVCA All-Americans.
In addition, Wilharm was an integral part of attracting three Top 25 recruiting classes to Louisville. While a volunteer assistant at Louisville, he also coached club with KIVA's 16-1s, was the head coach of the Iowa High Performance Regional Team, and led his team to the Boys Regional championship.
A 2011 graduate of Clarke University in Iowa, Wilharm played for the Crusaders and led the squad to the national finals. He was a two-time All-MAMVIC First Team honoree and was named National Player of the Week twice as well as being an Academic All-Conference selection for three years. Clarke named him Male Athlete of the Year.
A native of Decorah, Iowa, he was a two-sport athlete and lettered in track and basketball. The son of a high school volleyball coach, Wilharm coached the Dyersville Intensity Club (14s and 15s). He also coached Courtmasters 16s. As a senior at Clarke, he coached the women's team in the fall before playing his senior season in the spring.
Director of Operations
Alma Mater: Jacksonville State, 2010
Experience: 2nd Season
Paige Wetzel enters her second season as the Director of Operations with the Auburn volleyball program after joining the team in 2016.
Wetzel came to the Plains following a year at Auburn University at Montgomery. During the 2015 season, Wetzel laid the foundations of the brand new program that is set to kick off it’s inaugural season in 2017.
Prior to AUM, Wetzel served as head coach at Point University in 2014 after spending time in the club circuit.
As an assistant coach for Metro American Volleyball Club (Washington, D.C.), she helped her 2013 team qualify for the USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Nationals where they finished 27th in the National Division.
Before her stint at Metro American Volleyball Club, she served as an assistant coach for Lake Tapps Volleyball Club (Lake Tapps, Wash.). At Lake Tapps Wetzel also guided her team to the USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Nationals where they finished 42nd in the American Division.
In addition to her club experience, Wetzel has been a contributor at various volleyball camps, including for her long-time mentor and Auburn head coach, Rick Nold.
Wetzel served alongside Nold at Jacksonville State University as a graduate assistant coach in 2010 where the Gamecocks went 16-14 overall and 11-7 in conference.
As a player under Nold at Jacksonville State, the duo helped make program history by advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009 with a first round 3-2 win over Florida A&M. Serving as team captain during the 2009 season, the Gamecocks recorded a 26-7 overall record, while also winning the Ohio Valley Conference Championship.
Wetzel earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Jacksonville State, while earning her master’s in sports management from JSU also. Wetzel and her husband, Josh, have one daughter: Harper.
Prior to JSU, Wetzel attended Gadsden State Community College where she was team captain from 2006-07. She also was an Alabama Community College Conference All-American in 2006 and 2007, while earning Academic All-American honors in 2007.