When looking over to the Lady Panther sideline this fall, a change will be noticeable. Marisa Compton will be in charge of all volleyball strategies and activities, as opposed to being an assistant for Neosho County Community College.
On June 15, Compton was officially hired as the head coach after five years as the assistant coach. She will officially start her new position in the beginning of July. Former head coach Asya Herron has accepted an assistant coaching job with Kansas City Kansas CC.
Herron, head coach for the last 12 years, had a newborn son last year and was commuting from the Kansas City area to Chanute frequently because her family is closer to the city. The move to the Kansas City area made sense for her family.
And it gave Compton, 33, an opportunity to lead the team. She said she is truly appreciative.
“It’s truly an honor as a former player and being the assistant the last five years,” Compton said. “It’s an honor to be able to take over the program, especially one that I am really proud of.”
NCCC Athletic Director Riann Mullis said Compton is ready to take the lead.
“I am extremely confident and excited for Coach Compton in her new role as head coach,” Mullis said. “Her knowledge and experience will continue to move the volleyball program in a successful direction, both on the court and in the classroom.”
The Fort Scott native said she will use intangibles Herron taught her such as leadership and the importance of developing an athlete as a person and student. Compton said she will also continue to challenge her players to be competitive and to push every student-athlete to make improvements each and every day.
Since early March, official practices have been put on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Compton, however, has been managing her players remotely, ensuring they go to their local gyms and follow NCCC workout plans on their phones.
The new head coach played volleyball at NCCC for a year (2006-07) before transferring to Austin Peay State University (2007-10), a Division I volleyball program in Clarksville, Tenn.
Compton attributes some of her volleyball success to Herron, who coached her for a year. Herron coached three All-Americans, 39 All-Conference, 38 All-District, and 62 Academic All-Americans. She earned Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2017, achieved 20 or more wins nine times (including a 30-7 record in 2013) and amassed a 248-204 record in 12 years.
“Leaving Neosho is bittersweet, but I will forever be proud of the volleyball program and Neosho athletics as a whole,” Herron said in a statement on the NCCC website. “I am beyond grateful to the hundreds of student-athletes that picked Neosho to be their home and allowed me to coach them.”