John Blackwell begins his second season with the Tiger volleyball program after spending one season at Rice University. He is involved in practice planning, recruiting and game strategy. On the court, he handles the middle blockers and defense.
In 2005, he helped guide LSU to the first SEC Western Division championship in school history and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1992. The Tigers ranked third in the SEC in blocks per game, while senior Ivana Kuzmic ranked second in the league and went on to become LSU’s first All-American since 1992.
In 2004 as an assistant at Rice, he helped the Owls advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history and post a 25-5 record overall, including a 12-1 record in Western Athletic Conference play, the best overall and conference records in school history.
A school-record six players were named to the All-WAC teams, the most of any school in the league, including four on the first team. Additionally, one player earned All-WAC Tournament team honors and one was named to the AVCA All-West Region squad.
In the classroom, the Owls placed one player on the Academic All-America first team and four on the Academic All-District teams.
Prior to his stay at Rice, Blackwell was an assistant coach at Mississippi State, along with current Tiger assistant Craig Bere. In his four years with the Bulldogs, he oversaw MSU’s middle blockers and served as the team’s recruiting coordinator. In 2004, his recruiting class was ranked in the top 50 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com. In each of his four seasons, the middle blockers led the team in hitting percentage.
Additionally, Blackwell oversaw the Bulldogs in the classroom as the volleyball contact for the athletic academic office. In his tenure, Mississippi State eared the AVCA/Molten academic team award in 2000 and 2001.
From 1996-1999, he was the head coach at NAIA Division I Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss. Under his leadership, the team improved from a 1-29 record in 1996 to a 21-15 mark in 1999 while finishing as the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference runner-up. Ranked fifth in their region his final season, he had five players named to the All-GCAC teams while the program set school records in wins, kills, assists, aces and digs.
Equally as successful in the classroom as on the court, Blackwell’s Belhaven teams earned the AVCA team academic award each year and two players were named to the NAIA Academic All-America team.
While working at Belhaven, he was active in the development of club volleyball in Mississippi as the club director and head coach for the Jackson Volleyball Club, founding the first girls volleyball club in the Jackson area in 1996. Helping the club double in size in three years, he also worked at numerous collegiate camps across the southeast.
A 1992 graduate of Millsaps College with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting, Blackwell began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater in 1992, where he coached the Majors for three seasons.
A three-year basketball standout at John Curtis High School, the New Orleans native is married to the former Jackie Batte. The couple has two sons, Taylor (13) and Carter (9).
The Blackwell File
Name: John Blackwell
Children: Taylor (12), Carter (8)
Birthdate: November 11, 1970
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Alma Mater: Millsaps College; Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting (1992)
College Coaching Experience
LSU Assistant Coach (2005-present)
Rice Assistant Coach (2004-2005)
Mississippi State Assistant Coach (2000-2003)
Belhaven College Head Coach (1996-1999)
Millsaps Assistant Coach (1992-1994)
Jackson Volleyball Club (1992-1995)