It was an easy decision for Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic director Lonza Hardy to hire Kyetta May as the new volleyball coach after reviewing her resume.

It was an easy decision for Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic director Lonza Hardy to hire Kyetta May as the new volleyball coach after reviewing her resume.

May has led Kentucky State, an NCAA Division II university, to back-to-back conference championships. Plus she is familiar with the SWAC since she was formerly a player for Betty Austin at Alabama A&M from 1998-2001. May helped led the Lady Bulldogs to two SWAC championships (2000-01) during that time.

“We had some quality candidates, but I think she stood head and shoulders above them,” Hardy said. “Her credentials are impressive and I ham happy to bring in someone of her caliber.”

Hardy said interim coach Nyeshia Aldridge would not return to the program.

Last year, UAPB (4-22, 1-7 SWAC) won just one conference game. In comparison, May has only lost two games in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the last five years.

May said she is going to bring the same mindset to the UAPB program that she had while at Kentucky State.

“First and foremost, just coming in with a winner’s mindset,” she said. “Then from there, getting the young ladies to buy into the system and work ethic I have as a coach.

“Also incorporating a family atmosphere. The closer the team is, the more success they will have.”

May, 31, has led Kentucky State to five consecutive 20-win seasons and her career record at KSU is 125-81.

May will officially start as the UAPB head coach on May 25. From that point on, May will work at turning around UAPB’s volleyball program.

“I believe there is a lot of potential with the location and a lot of great talent in the surrounding area,” she said. “I look forward to finding great players who will fit into the way I do things and be successful within the conference.”

During May’s interview, Hardy had her meet some of the players, who were impressed by her.

“I always want the student-athletes to meet with that individual,” he said. “It’s always good to bring in a candidate that will make a mark on the student-athletes and Kyetta did that.”

May said she got the feeling from the players that they are ready to help turn the program around.

“I felt that they just, in a sense, are looking for someone to push them above and beyond,” she said. “It seems as if they are on the same page that I look for in players. They definitely have potential from looking at things.”

While Hardy does have high expectations for May, he knows it could take longer than one year for the team to compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

“Expectations are high whenever you bring in a new coach,” he said. “Also, you have to be realistic and we are not expecting to capture the NCAA tournament this year.

“But in due time, she will help us win conference champions and take us to the tournament.”