Carolyn Condit and Miami University volleyball celebrate the 40th season of their union this year, which also happens to be their last.
On Oct. 31, Condit announced her retirement from her position as the head coach of the Miami volleyball team. Her career concludes after 44 years as a Division I head coach.
On Nov. 11, Condit coached her final game at Millett Hall. Miami volleyball alumni gathered to celebrate the legendary RedHawk coach. Following the game, there was a 40-minute ceremony to honor her.
“She’s a person that really wants to know you for who you are,” said Abby Huser, a Miami volleyball alum from the class of 2021. “Whatever is important to you is important to her. She taught me that whatever I do, I can be the best at it.”
Condit began her coaching career at Xavier University (XU). She spent four years there – from 1980-1984 – and earned 99 victories with the Musketeers.
In 1984, she accepted a head coaching offer from Miami.
“She’s one of the most giving people I’ve ever met,” said Becky Fiessinger, a Miami volleyball alum from the class of 1985. “Think about it. Thirty years ago I graduated, and so many of my teammates are here tonight … Carolyn came in just before my senior year and did such a great job galvanizing the team.”
Condit inherited a program that had won two of the last three Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships.
Condit would expand on this winning culture by earning the first of her 10 MAC tournament titles in 1990. In both 1985 and 1986, the RedHawks finished second in the MAC regular season standings.
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Condit has overseen the most wins as a head coach in Miami history for any sport. Her current record at Miami is 682-553. Including four years as the head coach at XU before coming to Miami, Condit has over 750 career wins.
With 376 career MAC wins, Condit is the only volleyball coach ever to eclipse 300.
Throughout the years, Condit has recorded many victories against conference opponents, but she’s enjoyed beating Ohio University the most.
“It’s a great thing to beat Ohio University,” Condit said. “It’s something I celebrate a lot.”
From 2015-2020, Miami would demonstrate its dominance by winning nine out of 12 games versus the Bobcats, a period which she remembers fondly. The RedHawks notably also earned a MAC Regular Season Championship in 2018 with an emphatic 3-0 win in Athens.
She said the support from the athletic department and working with great athletes are the main reasons why she stayed in Oxford for so long.
“I love the quality of academics, and the quality of the people on campus, from the presidents to the athletic directors and athletes,” Condit said.
Mindy Collins, a Miami volleyball alum from the class of 2000, said that Condit was demanding but forgiving.
“She used to dropkick balls up into the stands when she was upset,” Collins said. “But on the flip side, she’d give you chance after chance to redeem yourself and to prove yourself.”
The RedHawks have struggled since 2020, but Condit has stayed patient with the players in a rebuilding period.
“The fans in Oxford and the university wouldn’t give up on the team in the tough times,” Condit said.
For seniors like Maggie McCrary and Taylor Nomanson, she preaches about the importance of remembering Miami.
“Make sure you think about Miami and what you put yourself through after your time here,” Condit said. “It builds pride and confidence.”
It will be a long time before another coach leads Miami volleyball to as much success as Condit has. It will take some getting used to seeing a different face behind the RedHawk bench once the 2023 season concludes on Wednesday at Bowling Green State University.
“She was a coach who led with grace and elegance, and who got the best out of every single young woman she coached during her time here,” Collins said.