February 19, 2014

Cephas chosen to lead King women's volleyball

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Along with time comes change, and for the first time in three decades, some with a last name other than Toomey will be leading the King University women's volleyball program. Following an exhaustive search that included a more than 70 applicants, King alumnus Morris Cephas was announced as King's next women's volleyball head coach.

Cephas (pronounced SEE-fus) is no stranger to King volleyball as he captained the men's team for two years, and was named Conference Carolinas Libero of the Year during his senior campaign. He was also a student assistant coach for the women's program during his senior season at King. Following his graduation, Cephas served as a women's volleyball assistant during the last three years under head coach Chris Toomey.

"As we progressed through our detailed search and interview process, it became clear that Morris was the ideal candidate," King athletic director David Hicks said. "He articulated a clear vision for the program, with defined steps on how to achieve that vision and lead the program to new levels of success, all while remaining true to the strong traditions of our women's volleyball program."

Cephas has a plethora of coaching experience at many different levels, most recently with the King women's volleyball program. Prior to that he was the head coach at Sullivan North High School where he led the Raiders to a first place district finish and third place regional finish in 2011. He has also coached club volleyball for NETVC as well as coaching both boys and girls junior Olympic level teams.

"I'm really excited about taking over such a historic program," said Cephas. "I'm thrilled for this new journey to begin and continue the tradition of the King women's volleyball program."

Cephas went through an extensive interview process that included many members of King's faculty and staff. Ultimately Cephas was the choice to keep the program's high standards set by King Athletic Hall of Fame head coach Susie Toomey and Chris Toomey over the last 29 seasons. Having been an assistant for the last three years under Chris Toomey, the transition will be seamless with Cephas guiding the Tornado women's volleyball program.

Susie Toomey won 16 conference titles and 749 games at the helm while Chris Toomey followed and guided the Tornado through their transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II in 2010. In seven seasons, Chris Toomey won 155 matches and lead the Tornado to a share of the Conference Carolinas title the past season, going 17-1 in league play and 32-5 overall.

The Tornado return nearly everyone from last season's team, including all-conference selections Payton Tipton, Summer Kremer, Grace Underwood, Olivia Underwood and Maribeth Kern for the 2014 campaign.

Cephas' first day at King will be March 10.