Adriano de Souza, Head Women's Volleyball Coach
Head coach Adriano de Souza enters his seventh season at the helm of the Louisiana Tech Volleyball program after guiding the Lady Techsters to win improvements in five of his first six seasons in Ruston.
De Souza has been a catalyst for developing consistent improvement in his players both on and off the court. His ability to recruit and strengthen student-athletes has shown itself in each of his first six seasons at LA Tech. Most recently, senior Marta Monne was named second team Conference USA and first team all-Louisiana under the guidance of de Souza. The all-conference accolades in 2017 were the first for the program since 2014.
Just as importantly, de Souza has preached the importance of excelling in the classroom as well as the court. In 2017, senior Jacie McClure became the first LA Tech volleyball player to earn Academic All-America accolades in program history. She was just the 15th student-athlete in Tech history to earn such honors.
In 2016, de Souza improved on the pervious seasons record for the fifth consecutive season, becoming the first coach in Louisiana Tech history to achieve that feat through his first five seasons. He also steered the Lady Techsters to their highest win total (13 wins) since the 2010 season. LA Tech put together a respectable mark against some formidable conference opponents and at one point secured three straight league triumphs; a feat that had not been achieved since 1999.
De Souza's prowess for promoting excellence on and off the court was on display in 2016. RS Junior Marta Monne was named first team all-Louisiana, becoming the first Techster since 2010 to achieve that feat. Senior libero Alejandra Aviles etched her name in the school record books after setting the program record for career digs. The previous record of 1,477 set by Jamie Shanks had stood for 20 years. De Souza also preached success in the classroom as junior Jacie McClure earned Conference USA all-academic recognition for the second straight season. McClure maintained a 4.00 GPA as a kinesiology and health promotion major.
De Souza's coaching resume spans 22 years and boasts stints at the club, high school and collegiate levels, including assistant coaching positions at Illinois State, Miami (OH) and Kent State over the course of his career. Before coming to Louisiana Tech, de Souza spent the past four years as an assistant volleyball coach at Illinois State where he helped rebuild the Redbirds program, leading it to the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament two straight years.
Prior to his time in Normal, Illinois, de Souza furthered his reputation by serving on the staff at Miami (OH) for three seasons from 2005-07 where he was instrumental in helping the RedHawks reach the 2007 NCAA Tournament after capturing the Mid-American Conference Tournament title that season. In de Souza's first season at Miami in 2005, the RedHawks recorded the most wins (17) since the 1998 Mid-American Conference championship team went 27-8. In 2006, Miami finished fourth in the MAC regular-season race, the RedHawks' best finish since 2000.
De Souza was a volunteer assistant at Kent State in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons, while completing his master's degree in Sports Pedagogy. He also volunteered as an assistant coach with the boys' volleyball team at Stow (Ohio) High School in 2004, and as the head coach of the Club Q Sport 17's team in 2004-05.
Prior to de Souza's time in Ohio, his coaching career in the U.S. started with two years as the head women's volleyball coach at Union College while he took postgraduate courses. In his first head coaching stint, de Souza led the Bulldogs to a second-place finish in the Mid-South Conference and the program's first NAIA regional appearance in his final season in Kentucky (2002).
De Souza, originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, a country with a great volleyball history and tradition, began playing the sport at the age of 14. He graduated with his bachelor's degree from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil in December 1997, and completed his master's degree at Kent State University in May 2006.
De Souza has co-authored books and articles on sports and coaching. He has also presented at the AVCA Coaches Convention in Omaha, Nebraska (2008), at the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) Conference in Vancouver, Canada (2008), Loughborough, England (2012), and Cologne, Germany (2016). Most recently he has presented at the Louisiana Coaches Conference in Shreveport (2018). He graduated with two degrees (Physical Education and Sports Coaching) from Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil in December 1997, and completed his master's degree at Kent State in May 2006.
Gabryel Ording, Assistant Coach
Former Louisiana Tech volleyball player Gabryel Ording enters her sixth season on the LA Tech coaching staff as she joined the Lady Techsters for the 2013 season as an assistant coach. In her time at Louisiana Tech Volleyball she has consistently helped the program to improve on the volleyball court and academically.
Ording completed her senior season and earned her bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech in Kinesiology in November 2012. Over the course of her time at Louisiana Tech, Ording lettered all four years and was also the volleyball program representative in the SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee).
Ording has now returned to Louisiana Tech to continue using her work ethic and knowledge to continue the development of the Lady Techster Volleyball Program which has improved every year since Ording has joined the staff.
While a student-athlete at Louisiana Tech, Ording was not only always prepared for all the practices and matches she competed in, but she was also a leader who contributed to the organization and development of the program on and off the court.
Jessica Croucher, Assistant Coach
Croucher comes to Ruston after spending the previous two years as an assistant coach at the University of Saint Mary. In her final season at the program last year, she helped guide the program to the most victories in school history (18).
While coaching at Saint Mary, Croucher provided assistance at practices, helped with player development, compiled scouting reports and game strategy, recruiting, fundraising, and developed a strength and conditioning program.
Prior to coaching, Croucher was a four-year starter on the volleyball team at Delaware State from 2010-14. Upon graduation, she obtained her undergraduate degree with a Bachelor of Arts in physical education, with a minor in coaching management. Most recently, while at Saint Mary, she earned her master’s degree in sports administration.
After her collegiate career, Croucher was a member of the Australian Senior Women’s volleyball program for two years in 2015-16, while also playing for the Australian National Team in the 2016 World Grand Prix. She was also a key starter and co-captain for the Queensland Pirates for two years – helping them win bronze in the Australian Volleyball League in 2014.