Bahamian Coach Pinder propels Liberty Flames
At press time Friday, Shane Pinder’s Liberty Flames standout volleyball team was scheduled to clash with Penn State in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Women’s Tournament.
Pinder is the third Bahamian to make big waves in collegiate volleyball as a coach. He follows trailblazer Tom Grant and Cynthia Moxey-Pratt who both boosted the program at St. Augustine’s College in North Carolina.
Coach Pinder is an item of pride in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Liberty University is located. He has orchestrated a highly successful women’s volleyball program since 2004. He led his team into the NCAA Tournament as the Big South Conference champions at 20-12. Pinder has been Big South Coach of the Year twice (2007 and 2010). For the 2008 season, he was named Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) State Coach of the Year.
The Flames are still searching for a NCAA title under Coach Pinder but he is nonetheless already a special part of the school’s legacy. The son of Gerald and Sonja Pinder, Shane, a graduate of Liberty Bible Institute and Luther Rice Seminary, has stabilized the Flames’ program to the point of winning matches in NCAA Tournament play. Pinder entered the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 149-112, second best in Flames’ history.
Pinder is no doubt an excellent Bahamian sports commodity. It would be good if his expertise could somehow be factored into our national program. I know that he is interested in making whatever contribution he can. He has told me as much.
Whereas Grant and Moxey-Pratt were mainstay figures in the national development process of volleyball, there has not been a meaningful connection with Coach Pinder. Grant, who was there at the beginning of volleyball federation activity in the country back during the 1960s, is in fact still involved in volleyball.
Coach Pinder would bring a lot to the table, as a consultant, or a recruiter of Bahamian talent. Perhaps at some point in the not too distance future, the man who has done so much for volleyball in Lynchburg, Virginia would be brought into the national picture in some fashion. Meanwhile, he is the coaching toast of the Liberty University campus. He is a top candidate once again for top coach honors in the Big South. Whatever happens in the present NCAA tournament action, it’s a safe bet that Coach Pinder will continue motivating his charges competitively and otherwise.
Coach Pinder has his players focusing always on being quality examples on campus as competitors, students and individuals. Continued best wishes to the coach and his Flames.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected])