After being announced as the head volleyball coach at Mississippi State on Monday, David McFatrich has assembled his coaching staff, adding John and Brittany Newberry as assistants, he announced Thursday.
“I’m very grateful that I have been able to bring my coaching staff, John and Brittany Newberry, with me to Mississippi State,” McFatrich said. “John and Brittany share not only my coaching philosophies, but my off-court priorities as well.”
The couple comes to Starkville after spending the last three seasons on McFatrich’s staff at Central Arkansas. In that time, the Sugar Bears made consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 2012-13 and won back-to-back Southland Conference regular season and tournament championships, the first team in the league to do so in 23 years.
In that two-year span, UCA also went 59-9, the second-most wins in Division I during that period behind only the NCAA National Champions Penn State.
During their time on the bench at UCA, the Sugar Bears defeated several Top 25 teams, brok into the Top 45 nationally in RPI and maintained perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. Individually, they helped produce two Southland Conference Players of the Year, one Student-Athlete of the Year, two Setters of the Year, one Libero of the Year and seven First Team All-Southland selections. Last season saw UCA earn its first AVCA All-American in program history.
John Newberry began his time in volleyball assisting his wife, Brittany, while she was the head coach at Conway Christian High School and a national coach for Fatchmo Volley. Newberry proved to be a quick learner, taking over his own team in 2012 at Fatchmo Volley and winning three gold medals at regional tournaments and placing third in a national qualifier.
“God has truly blessed us with some great accomplishments in the past and we cannot wait to carry this over to Mississippi State,” John Newberry said. “David McFatrich is a phenomenal leader and coach and we are grateful to be by his side to help these ladies win on and off the court. We look forward to sharing a winning tradition and mindset with all the other Bulldog sports.”
A 2005 graduate of UCA with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a minor in speech communication, Newberry has worked as a full-time television producer for Mike Barber Ministries, a worldwide prison ministry. He has overseen the production of television shows from inside prisons across the United States.
Newberry put together a decorated football career as a punter at UCA from 2000-03, earning Second-Team All-American, First-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-Region honors. He holds the second-highest career punting average in UCA’s 100-plus year history and earned UCA’s First-Team All-Decade award at punter for the 2000’s.
Brittany Newberry brings over 15 years of volleyball experience to the Maroon and White. Her coaching career began at the middle school level, leading to her being named the head volleyball coach at Conway Christian High School in January of 2010. In only her second season at the helm, Newberry led CCHS to a conference runner-up finish and a third-place finish in the state tournament. Both stand as the best finish the program has ever achieved. Following two seasons at CCHS, Brittany and her husband, John, were named to the UCA coaching staff.
“I feel very honored to continue this coaching journey under the leadership ofDavid McFatrich at Mississippi State,” Brittany Newberry said. “When we stepped on campus, my husband and I could sense that MSU is a special place and we wanted to join the family. We are excited about the future of MSU volleyball.”
As a player, Newberry was a member of the prestigious Texas Advantage Volleyball Club in Arlington, Texas, for three years. In her final season, she earned a spot on the 18’s National Team.
Outside of her coaching career, Newberry also spends time with her husband and Mike Barber Ministries doing prison outreach work.
Newberry graduated from UCA in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and completed her master’s degree in teaching in 2014.
“John and Brittany each have the qualities that Mississippi State looks for in its coaches,” McFatrich said. “I have no doubt that the Bulldog family will embrace them immediately.”
(From MSU Media Relations)