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  Sports 04/30/02

Crosbie steps from player to assistant coach of USU volleyball team

By Landon Olson

There will be a familiar face courtside next season for the Utah State women's volleyball team, in more ways than one.

The Aggies have added a new assistant coach, former player Amy Crosbie. Less than a year after finishing her career as an outside hitter for the Aggies, Crosbie will be taking on the duties as an assistant coach, replacing her sister Shay Clemensen.

During her four years playing at Utah State, Crosbie hit her way into the USU record books. She is first on the career kills list and attacks list, with 1,463 and 3,627. She also holds the single season kills record with 461 and attacks record with 1,094.

Crosbie was given the opportunity to become an assistant after Clemensen decided to step down so she would have time to pursue her masters of education degree, Aggie Head Coach Burt Fuller said.

Not only will the Aggies be bringing back someone who is familiar with the program and players, but Crosbie is very similar to her sister in several ways.

Crosbie looks much like her sister and said during a recent recruiting trip, people mistook her for Clemensen.

"We look so much alike that a lot of people just thought I was her," Crosbie said.

Besides looks, Fuller said Crosbie, like her sister before her, will bring a lot to the program.

"Both Amy and Shay are such quality people," he said. "They bring different things to a program, but they both just bring so much and the one thing they have as a constant is they are just great people."

As a new assistant, Crosbie will be in the unique position of coaching players she was teammates with just two seasons ago.

Senior Heather Olmstead, who was a three-year teammate of Crosbie, said it she thinks it might take time for the players to become used to Crosbie, but shouldn't be a big worry.

"I think it would be a little bit weird to have someone you played with turnaround and be your coach, but I don't think the players will have a problem treating her as a coach and I think it will make the team better because she knows exactly what the girls need," Olmstead said.

Crosbie said she doesn't think having recently played with them and being friends with the players will be a problem.

"I think they really respect me, especially the transition I'm making as a coach," she said. "They see me as a player. They see me as a person. I think they really respect me because they know I'm mature and they know how I am on the court."

With her existing relationship with many of the players, Crosbie said she will have to work closely with them but still maintain her authority as a coach.

"As an assistant coach in any program, the girls will come to the assistant coach first," she said. "I will have to be very set in my ways and make sure they don't walk all over me."

Middle blocker Hailey MacKay said, "I've played with her so I feel like I can confide in her, go and talk to her and know that she'd help."

Having recently been a player should also give her some insight into the current players as well as being able to help them, Crosbie said. "I've been through the whole thing, study hall, classes, being gone," she said. "I know how it works, I know it can be done so I'll have some pretty high expectations of the girls."

Crosbie said, "Hopefully, especially with Utah State University, I know some ins-and-outs on what they can do and hopefully I can be a stepping-stone or they can bounce off their ideas and I can give them so good advice on how to be successful here."

Fuller said Crosbie's experience and relationships with the players should work well for her and help her become a successful coach.

"We're just really happy to have somebody with her experience," Fuller said. "She has a tremendous personality and is just a very likable person and all that stuff helps out so much because she's kind of a little ambassador for Utah State. When she goes out there and she's wearing our school colors and people are talking to her, people are going to remember her and think of us in a positive light."



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