Northwest names Keister as head volleyball coach

Posted 12/5/19

A new volleyball coach will be in place with the start of Northwest College’s second semester on Jan. 6.

Scott Keister, a seven-year assistant coach at Salt Lake Community College, will step …

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Northwest names Keister as head volleyball coach

Posted

A new volleyball coach will be in place with the start of Northwest College’s second semester on Jan. 6.

Scott Keister, a seven-year assistant coach at Salt Lake Community College, will step onto campus as the Trappers’ full-time head coach. Keister previously served two years as an assistant volleyball coach at Montana State University.

He will succeed Valerie Rivera, who led the NWC volleyball program in an interim role in 2019.

Keister, 43, was selected at the end of a search that followed the 2019 fall season.  Keister and Rivera were the finalists.

“We are excited about Scott [Keister]’s knowledge of the game, his experience at this level and his recruiting and fundraising abilities,” said NWC Athletic Director Brian Erickson, adding that, “We really appreciate what Valerie [Rivera] did as a volleyball coach this year, and we wish her the best in her endeavors.”

Erickson announced Keister’s hiring on Wednesday.

Keister’s appointment is the last official hire in the NWC athletic department to establish full-time head coaches in all sports. Earlier this fall, men’s soccer coach Ben McArthur and women’s soccer coach Aaron Miller were elevated to full-time status after a year as interim coaches.

Under Rivera in 2019, the Trapper volleyball team compiled an overall 5-21 record while going 4-13 in Region IX.

Keister is no stranger to Region IX volleyball, and NWC volleyball in particular. With Salt Lake Community College, he stared across the nets at Northwest in the NCJAA national tournament in Casper in 2016.

Salt Lake won that contest to take fifth place in the national competition.

“I have a lot of respect for the brand of volleyball played at Northwest College in the recent past,” Keister said. “I’ve known Shaun Pohlman [who coached the Trappers from 2011-2017] for 20 years.”

Keister said he believes in investing in his players on and off the court.

“I care a lot about them. That’s where it starts,” he said. “Young athletes want to know on and off the court that you are invested in them and want to teach them accountability, responsibility and leadership. I want to make sure they are prepared when they go out into the real world.”

Though he doesn’t assume his head coaching responsibilities until January, Keister said he is already engaged in the recruiting process.

He and his wife Alicia have four daughters: McKenna, 15, Sophie, 12, Kendall, 5, and Kelsey, 1 1/2. His wife’s parents and a sister and her husband and family live in Billings.

“We were there for Thanksgiving and came down to Powell and looked over the community,” he said. “We loved it.”

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