University of Kentucky Volleyball head coach Craig Skinner announced that former Wildcat and two-time Southeastern Conference champion Merideth Jewell will return to Lexington to serve as an assistant coach on his staff on Jan. 6, 2022. She will begin her second season as an assistant coach in 2023.
She helped keep the championship pedigree in Kentucky, as her coaching helped lead Kentucky to its sixth-straight SEC Championship in 2022 as her first year back in an assistant coaching role. Jewell worked primarily with UK’s outside hitters and passers in the season as UK led the league in passing numbers for the fourth-straight season.
Prior to UK, Jewell recently was the assistant coach at South Dakota State, where she helped the Jackrabbits to a 19-12 season in 2021 and a semifinal appearance in the Summit League Tournament.
“It’s always been a dream to come back home to Kentucky,” Jewell said. “This program had such a big impact on my life and helped shape who I am today. I want to thank Craig Skinner, Katie Eiserman and Mitch Barnhart for giving me this opportunity to work with some of the best in the business. I cannot wait to get started and be apart of the UK Volleyball family in my new role.”
Prior to her stint at South Dakota State, Jewell worked at the University of Louisville where she served as a graduate manager and was then promoted to a volunteer assistant coach for the Cardinals. Jewell managed the Cards film system in her time with UofL before being promoted to a volunteer assistant, where she led Louisville to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances, and a spot in the 2019 Elite Eight.
Jewell is a native of the Bluegrass state, having played high school volleyball at Mercy Academy. At Mercy, she was named as the 2014 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year, Miss Kentucky Volleyball and with her team, won the 2014 state championship and club national championship.
“It became clear when Merideth was a player that she would become a star in the coaching profession,” UK head coach Craig Skinner said. “Her work ethic, passion, and loyalty is evident each and every day. Our players and recruits will love getting to know her and appreciate the knowledge she has of volleyball and winning.”
She spent her freshman and sophomore years at Morehead State where she was voted as the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year and voted to the All-OVC Team in her inaugural season. In 2016, Jewell earned her second-consecutive spot on the all-conference team and was top 50 in the nation in total digs for the season.
After two years at MSU, she transferred to Kentucky where she played in 55 matches for the Wildcats, including both matches to clinch SEC Championships in 2017 and 2018. She was also an All-SEC Academic honoree.
Jewell will immediately begin her assistant coaching duties.