By Meliyah Venerable / Delta Sports Editor
Tamika Drake, the Volleyball Operations/Women’s Volleyball Head Coach has been promoted to the new Assistant Athletic Director as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Director. Drake will be replacing Colin Smith, who is currently running the position but has been offered a position elsewhere.
Drake started her career at Missouri Valley College in 2014 as a graduate assistant and assistant coach. She was promoted to head coach and volleyball operations in 2017. As a head coach, she led the team to win their first-ever National Postseason match in program history.
“I was very honored to be offered the position as Assistant Athletic Director – Game Day Operations / Diversity & Inclusion Director,” Drake said, “I’ve been here at MVC for 8 years now. Transitioning from Coaching to Administration has always been my long-term career goal. I was surprised when it was presented to me and I am ready to soak up all the knowledge and experience from those around me.”
Drake was offered the position because of the respectability she has gained as a head coach at Missouri Valley. She has a good reputation when it comes to her leadership and her ability to coordinate the mens and womens volleyball activities.
“We promoted Coach Drake because she was the best candidate to fill the position,” Athletic Director Tom Fifer explained. “Tamika is very organized, dependable, and works well with both MVC student-athletes and current staff members. I rely heavily on my assistants, they perform the majority of the day-to-day operations of our entire athletic department. MVC athletics would not be nearly as successful without them. Coach Drake’s main responsibility will be taking over game day athletic operations, as well as being the Diversity coordinator.”
Drake will begin her new role over winter break. She will also be working closely with President Humphery to work on the Diversity and Inclusion side of her new job. She wants to create a safe and inclusive environment that gives everyone the opportunity to be comfortable accepting and embracing others.
Taking this position means that Tamika has to step away from her head coach position. But that doesn’t mean she won’t be around. As the game day director, she is responsible for making sure that everyone runs smoothly. So she will get to see the athletes that she has been building relationships with. She will also get a chance to develop new relationships with athletes from various sports.
“Volleyball is my heart!! It was a tough decision that I had to make in stepping down from my dream job of being the Head Volleyball coach and leaving my ladies in the Viking volleyball program,” Drake said. “I’ve worked hard to bring us all together and create the vision and path for success. My ultimate mission was to create the opportunity for young ladies to play collegiate volleyball and to believe in themselves to compete, work hard and earn everything that comes their way!! As I tell my athletes to always follow their heart and strive for greatness, I too had to follow my heart and take advantage of the opportunity presented to me. I will continue to be their biggest fan and will continue to celebrate their achievements on and off the court!! We will work hard this off-season until the next coach is hired to prepare for Fall 2022! I know they will succeed and meet their goals. I will always and forever be in their corner for support and mentorship. The bond and relationship between a Coach and athlete is one that can’t be duplicated!! I cherish all of them as they’ve left an impression on me as I hope I have for them also. Coach T will always be around… just cheering from the stands now!!”