SEATTLE – Former University of Montana assistant Giedre Tarnauskaite and former Team USA member Nicole Davis have joined the Seattle University volleyball coaching staff, Head Coach James Finley announced Wednesday.
"Geidre brings a solid background to our volleyball staff and Nicole brings a world of knowledge and experience for the game as a player and mental coach," Finley said of the duo.
Tarnauskaite is no stranger to the Pacific Northwest, having served two years as the lead assistant at Pacific (Ore.) University and one season as a volunteer assistant at the University of Portland. The Kaunas, Lithuania, native spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Montana.
“Geidre was a strong player who has worked hard to develop her coaching knowledge, philosophy and character," said Finley. "She understands our culture, is eager to learn and will contribute to the growth of our athletes in their skill development, but also as individuals preparing for their futures. Geidre is a great addition to the university and our mission.”
Tarnauskaite, who competed as an outside hitter, left her home country in 2001 to play in the U.S. at Jefferson (Mo.) College. After two years she transferred to Arkansas State. She led the Red Wolves to 46 wins in two years, earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2003 and Sun Belt Player of the Year accolades as a senior in 2004 after leading ASU to a share of the Sun Belt’s East Division championship. She was also named AVCA honorable mention all-region and academic all-district as a senior.
"I feel very fortunate that I get to be a part of such a diverse and inclusive community at Seattle University," said Tarnauskaite. "I am excited to work together and learn from Coach Finley and Coach Lindsay. I am proud I get to be a part of the volleyball staff that has high standards and expectations not only for the team, but for themselves as well. I am looking forward to challenges ahead and tackling them together."
Tarnauskaite, who earned a degree in international business from Arkansas State in 2005, spent six years after graduation working in Fayetteville, Ark., as a legal assistant for a prosecutor and coaching in the Ozark Volleyball Club before moving to the Pacific Northwest to pursue coaching as a profession.
In addition to her college coaching experiences, she also worked for the Athena Volleyball Academy in Portland.
Davis won back-to-back NCAA Division I National Championships at USC in 2002 and 2003. She went on to compete for Team USA, winning silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Davis also competed in three FIVB World Championships with Team USA, winning gold in 2014.
"Our team is looking forward to the growth we will make with Nicole's contributions on the court and in the continued development of a strong and healthy mind set that applies to all areas of our lives," said Finley. "We are fortunate to have this time with Nicole as a staff and team member.”