Scott Smith wants to continue foundation set for volleyball

Scott Smith wants to continue foundation set for volleyball


Volleyball head coach Scott Smith wasn’t coaching from the sidelines. 

Smith was on the court serving and playing directly against players that he recruited and is now in charge of.

UB Athletics promoted Smith to head coach after Blair Brown Lipsitz stepped down from her position. He has spent the past four seasons at UB, with volleyball having its two best seasons as a Mid-American Conference team and a program-record 10 conference victories in 2018. Smith was named associate head coach coming into last season with his main responsibility as UB’s lead recruiter.

“We’ve laid a really strong foundation,” Smith said. “We’ve focused for the past four years on building a strong culture, being very process-oriented, and knowing that the wins will come when the culture is strong and players are here for the right reasons.”

Brown Lipsitz, in a UB Athletics statement, said that she is stepping down from the position after four years because it is in the “best interest” of her family.

Brown Lipsitz said she has a great deal of confidence in Smith and will continue to assist him and the program as she can.

Smith and Brown Lipsitz have connections from their time before UB. Brown Lipsitz spent four years at Penn State winning four national championships under assistant coach Salima Rockwell and Smith spent one year learning with her as well.

Smith coached at Brown Lipsitz’s volleyball club that she grew up playing in. Smith would block against her even though she is significantly taller. But Smith says he can jump pretty well.

In practice, Smith is still jumping on the court. His plan is to not always be coaching on the court as the team is still waiting for some players to get back and new assistant coaches to get to Buffalo.

“We will hire a new recruiting coordinator, someone with experience with national talent,” Smith said. “I’ll still help guide decisions in that way but when they get in we’ll watch a lot of film together, they’ll see what we’re looking for, what we have in the gym and then we’ll know what we’re looking for going forward.”

UB has already brought in Lexi Nordmann, a transfer from Southern Methodist University and incoming freshman Melissa Masotto. Both are already on campus and practicing with the team.

Being the head recruiter allowed Smith to build solid relationships with all the women on the team.

“I think we have a really, really good working relationship and they trust me,” Smith said. “I mean, I did bring them here and we’ve developed them over the years. It’s a pretty smooth transition from my previous role into the head coach.”

Smith wants the team to remain process-oriented and be consistent in practice. 

Smith said he feels very confident in the current system and trusting that their positions on the court are setting them up for success. If things start to go wrong in a match he wants his players to be able to take a step back and go through their system step-by-step.

“Our goals remain very similar to what we’ve had in the past,” Smith said. “We want them to be very successful in the classroom but also just be dedicated to the program, dedicated to the school and always presenting UB volleyball in the best possible way. If that gets us a lot of wins along the way, that is definitely a plus.”

Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at and on Twitter @NateMendelson


 Nathaniel Mendelson has been writing for The Spectrum since 2018, mainly covering football, men's basketball and softball. He currently works for The Buffalo News and has a daily article on Other responsibilities include managing the office fish tank.