Parkland Volleyball Head Coach Cliff Hastings will be inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, as announced by the league governing body Tuesday.
Hastings will be honored Wednesday, Nov. 14, during the NJCAA Division II Championship banquet that precedes this year's NJCAA DII Nationals in Charleston, W. Va.
"I am extremely honored and humbled to be honored with the induction into the NJCAA Hall of Fame this year," Hastings said. "While I like coaching, and think I'm fine at it, I think it's about having a good eye for talent and the unyielding confidence to paint the picture for these amazing young women why Parkland is the place for them.
"Recruiting is the fun part, but then every year we work our hardest to deliver on those promises both to the girls as well as to produce at our high level of expectations. Without surrounding myself with people better than me in amazing assistant coaches, we wouldn't be able to produce at this level year after year."
Now in his 10th season at the helm of the Cobras, Hastings has carried on the prestigious success of Parkland Volleyball. Under his direction, Parkland has won two NJCAA DII National Championships, made four appearances in the National Championship game and participated in the national tournament in every season. Overall, the success amounts to a 485-47 record at Parkland, an impressive .912-win percentage. The two National Championship titles came in 2015 and 2016, the second and third championships in Parkland Volleyball history. Following the 2015 title, Hastings was named the AVCA Two-Year College Coach of the Year.
Over the course of his first nine seasons, he has coached 20 NJCAA All-Americans and has reached the 50-win mark in each of the last six seasons. His program has also established success in the classroom as well, with 16 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Award recipients.
"My hope is that my 10 years of alumni and assistant coaches share in this accolade, as they are truly the reason for me to be acknowledged with this outstanding honor," Hastings said. "As all coaches know, it takes a village when balancing work, family and coaching, and I'm extremely grateful for my parents and husband who sacrifice a lot in helping take care of our kids while I'm focused on coaching for four months of the year."
The latest of his 50-win campaigns, the 2018 squad enters this weekend's NJCAA Nationals as the No. 2 seed after compiling a 53-2 overall record this season. Highlighting the resume is a 15-1 record against ranked opponents, a 23rd straight Mid-West Athletic Conference (M-WAC) Championship and an 11th straight Region 24 Championship. Following the Regional victory, Hastings was named the Region 24 Coach of the Year, while freshman setter Rachel Verdun was named the Region 24 Player of the Year. Joining Verdun as All-Region selections was Ryleigh Warfel, Brooke Norder, Shelby Nunamaker and Katelyn Riffle.
Prior to his tenure at Parkland, Hastings spent nearly 10 years coaching at the club and high school levels. As the director of Prime Time Volleyball in Champaign, he has seen success coaching all age groups. In 2018, Hastings led a 12U team to an undefeated season in 2018.
In addition to leading the Cobras, Hastings is director of sales and strategic initiatives at Wolfram Research, Inc.
Joining Hastings in the 2018 Hall of Fame class is the late Heidi Cartisser of College of Southern Idaho.
[Article by Chad Beyler]