The University of Alaska Fairbanks is looking for an assistant coach for its volleyball team after Robert Berrett joined the coaching staff at NCAA Division I Idaho State University.
Idaho State, of Pocatello, Idaho, is a member of the Big Sky Conference. UAF is a member of the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Idaho State announced Berrett’s hiring in a news release on its website Wednesday. UAF has made no announcement about the departure of Berrett, who had been Brian Scott’s assistant coach since Scott become the Nanooks head coach four years ago.
“Rob was great,” Scott said by phone Saturday. “One of the best things about him was he was not afraid to speak his mind.
“He would speak his mind, create some discussion and debate for us to be able to create a game plan. He was a knowledgeable, loyal assistant and he brought a lot to the team.”
Berrett helped the Nanooks finish fourth last season in the GNAC with a 12-8 conference and 14-13 overall record.
It was the Nanooks’ most wins in a single season under Scott, and their most overall wins and first winning season since 2008. The 12 GNAC wins were the most for UAF since a 13-5 conference finish in 2003.
Scott said Berrett’s departure for Idaho State had “been in the works for a while.”
“I’m excited for Robert and his family,” Scott said.
Pocatello also is about a 11/2-hour drive from Berrett’s hometown of Ogden, Utah.
Scott said he’s gotten several applications and he hopes to have a new assistant coach in place by July 1, which is the start of the UAF’s fiscal year.
“There’s people from the Division II ranks, and I think there’s even a couple with minimal experience in the Division I ranks,” Scott said. “It’s a good mix of people.”
At Idaho State, Berrett will be the assistant coach for new head coach Sammi Stuart, who became the Bengals head coach in May after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Utah State, a member of Division I Mountain West Conference.
Stuart replaced Rick Reynolds, who according to an Idaho State news release in February, resigned after four seasons with Idaho State to pursue business opportunities outside of volleyball.
“Going forward with hiring Robbie was an easy decision,” Stuart said in the June 5 Idaho State release.
“As I talked with him about Idaho State Volleyball, I could tell he truly wanted to be a part of our Bengal family.
“His energy and excitement about coaching volleyball and being in our gym was very contagious. He will be a great addition to our program.”
Idaho State marks Berrett’s second stint with a D-I volleyball team.
Before he came to UAF, he spent four seasons as a volunteer assistant coach, Data Volley technician and operations director. Weber State also is a Big Sky team, Berrett’s alma mater and located in Odgen, Utah.
Scott also was an assistant coach at Weber State for three seasons.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter: @newsminersports.