PROVO — BYU women's volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead announced Monday the hiring of former Cougar standout Charlene Johnson Whitted as an assistant coach.
"We are extremely happy to be able to bring Charlene back to the program," Olmstead said. "Our team will instantly benefit from her hiring. She brings an incredible amount of experience not only as a player here at BYU and with the national team but also as a coach in many different environments and settings."
Whitted was the starting setter for the Cougars from 1991-94. During her time at BYU, she helped lead the Cougars to their first-ever Final Four appearance in 1993 as well as an Elite Eight appearance in 1992. In that span, BYU also amassed three straight league titles.
Whitted finished her career with the Cougars second all-time in three categories: career assists (5,321), career assists per game (12.35) and season assists per game (13.13) – a mark that was also fifth in the nation in 1992. In addition to two All-America citations, she was the only player in BYU women's volleyball history to receive all-region honors during her each of her four years on the team.
In 1995, she served as an undergraduate assistant coach at BYU before leaving to play professionally overseas for a year in Switzerland. Whitted returned to her native country in 1997 to begin a five-year stint with the U.S. National Team that was capped off with earning the Best Setter Award at the Olympic Qualification tournament and a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games held in Australia. She then went to Italy to play another year professionally.
From 2003-07, Whitted served as an assistant coach of Nebraska's women's volleyball program. While there, she helped coach her squad to a 124-10 overall record, three Big 12 titles and a national championship in 2006.
Additionally in 2006, Whitted was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame.
Starting in 1999, Whitted became the director of volleyball for the American College Connection. She has served as its director for the past 17 years with the exception of her time with the Huskers.
In 2002, Whitted began Charlene Johnson Whitted Volleyball Camps, touring the country teaching the skills of the sport to colleges, schools and club teams.
Before returning to BYU, Whitted was an assistant coach of either the Youth or Junior National Teams for USA Volleyball from 2010-13. She helped the 2010 squad earn a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games.
"I'm thrilled at this opportunity to come back and coach at my alma mater," Whitted said. "BYU is a special place, and I'm excited to return and coach the sport I love at a place that means so much to me. I'm looking forward to helping the team have another successful season of Cougar volleyball."
Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.