Jackie Simpson-Kirr | Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Jackie Simpson-Kirr has joined the Clemson volleyball staff as associate head coach, and will serve as the team’s offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. Head Coach Michaela Franklin made the announcement on April 24, 2017.
“I am thrilled to have Jackie and her family join us at Clemson,” said Franklin. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jackie before, and what I enjoyed and appreciated most about her is that she has an intense work ethic, a passion for success and a creative mind that thinks outside the box.
“Jackie comes with elite level coaching and playing experience. Being an All-American setter in the B1G, I am counting on her to work with our setters and be our offensive coordinator.
“Most recently, Jackie was a head coach, and during that time I have seen her evolve as a recruiter. She has recruited on a national level and most recently has developed her international recruiting connections. I believe Clemson presents her with the opportunity to develop into one of the best recruiting coordinators in the country.”
Simpson-Kirr spent the past two years as the head coach at George Mason in Fairfax, Va. In 2015, her first season with the Patriots, she led the team to the best Atlantic-10 finish in program history and its best overall record since 2010. While at the helm of the Patriot program, Simpson-Kirr served on the AVCA All-American Selection Committee in 2016, during which time she was the East Region Committee Chair. She also earned the AVCA’s 30-under-30 Award in 2015, a prestigious national honor awarded to the top 30 volleyball coaches, at any level, under the age of 30.
Prior to her time at George Mason, Simpson-Kirr was an assistant coach at Iowa for the 2014 season, during which time she was on the Hawkeye’s staff with Franklin. She also previously served as an assistant coach at Marquette (2013-14), East Carolina (2010-13) and Winona State in Winona, Minn. (2008-09).
“I am humbled and honored to become a part of the Clemson Volleyball Family,” said Simpson-Kirr. “There is a special energy when you walk through the Clemson campus. It is one of the most beautiful campuses I have seen, but I could tell from my initial interactions that the people are what makes it exceptional.
“I am beyond excited to work with Michaela again. I believe she is one of the best leaders in our sport. Her vision for a program built upon championship behaviors is inspiring and I can't wait to get started helping make that vision a reality.”
Simpson-Kirr was a standout setter at Wisconsin from 2004-07. She led the Badgers to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Elite Eight berths. She was a two-time AVCA All-American, and also a two-time All-Big Ten selection, both on the court and in the classroom. She ranks second all-time in Wisconsin program history in career assists, and is 17th all-time among Big Ten setters.
Simpson-Kirr earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Letters & Science – Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. She earned a Master’s degree in Exercise & Sport Science – Sport Psychology from East Carolina in 2013.
Efrain Negron | Assistant Coach
Efrain Negron is joining the Clemson volleyball staff as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator. Head Coach Michaela Franklin made the announcement on April 25. Negron spent the 2016 season as an assistant coach at Bowling Green State, after one season as the volunteer assistant coach at Appalachian State.
“I met Efrain during a recruiting trip to Puerto Rico and he stuck out to me because of his dynamic and contagious personality. It doesn’t take long to recognize his passion for excellence, his ambition, and relentless work ethic,” said Franklin.
“Efrain had a successful playing career as a libero and has deep knowledge for the defensive side of the game. He will be our defensive coordinator and work closely with our back row players. His experience with Data Volley and VolleyMetrics will also be extremely important for the success of our program. I look forward to working with Efrain and having him join the Clemson family.”
At Bowling Green State in 2016, Negron assisted in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, practice planning and game preparation. He coordinated BGSU’s scouting and film exchange, and was also responsible for the individual development and training of the team’s liberos and defensive specialists, as well as team defense and serve receive. The Falcons led the MAC in team digs per set in 2016, with a 17.67 average, a figure that ranked ninth in the nation in digs per set. He coached Madeline Garda, the national leader in digs per set (6.66) to MAC Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Conference honors.
At Appalachian State in 2015, Negron helped the Mountaineers to a 22-8 record (13-3 Sun Belt) and a runner-up finish at the Sun Belt Championship tournament. Negron trained the Appalachian State liberos and defensive specialists, and was responsible for team defense and serve receive. The Mountaineers led the conference in digs per set that season, with a 16.58 average.
"I am beyond excited and thankful to be a part of the Clemson family,” said Negron. “I would like thank Michaela Franklin, Stephanie Ellison and Dan Radakovich for this amazing opportunity to join such a prestigious university. I would also like to thank the other staff members with whom I spoke to during the interviewing process. I can’t wait to get to campus and get started. I look forward to contributing to the vision that Michaela has for Clemson volleyball and am thrilled to make a positive impact in the program."
Negron was a four-year starter at libero for Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. from 2010-13, where he was a three-time All-Conference Carolinas selection. He set the Lees-McRae school record in digs, digs per set and reception percentage, and sits in the top five statistically in the NCAA for career digs. He represented USA Men’s Volleyball as a libero at the Asian Pacific Volleyball Cup in Japan during the summer of 2012. Negron graduated from Lees-McRae with a degree in Sports Science in May of 2014.
Ciara Jones | Director of Volleyball Operations
Ciara Jones, who played for Marquette from 2008-12 during Head Coach Michaela Franklin's time as an assistant coach with the Golden Eagles, has joined the Clemson staff as Director of Volleyball Operations.
“We are thrilled to have Ciara join our staff and the Clemson family,” said Franklin. “Ciara had an outstanding playing career and most recently, she has gained experience in event coordination, which will be helpful in her role as our director of volleyball operations.
“Having coached Ciara, I am expecting her transition to Clemson to be rather smooth. She already knows what my expectations are of her, of the program, and most importantly of our players. She will naturally be able to relate to them, mentor them and be an excellent role model for our young ladies.”
Jones comes to Clemson after spending the past year as the head coach and recruiting coordinator for Top Select Volleyball Club in Orlando, Fla. Recently, she was named Head Coach of the Year for Top Select. Jones also served as the head volleyball coach at Edgewater High School in Orlando for the past three seasons, beginning in 2014. Her high school team won district championships all three seasons, and Jones was voted Metro Coach of the Year in 2016.
From 2014-16, Jones worked for the Orlando Health Foundation as an event coordinator, gaining valuable experience in event management and coordination as well as donor relations. She also spent two years, from 2012-14, as a Blue & Gold Fund Assistant for the Marquette Athletic Department, where she gained additional experience planning events and working with donors.
Jones was a four-year letterwinner for Marquette volleyball from 2008-12, during which time she helped lead the Golden Eagles to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011, a season in which she was named a Big East First Team All-American. Jones earned Marquette Athletics' Outstanding Female Leadership & Service Award in 2012 and served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2011-12.
Jones earned a bachelor's degree in Broadcast & Electronic Communications from Marquette in May of 2012, and earned a master's in Leadership Studies with a specialization in Sports Leadership, also from Marquette, in December of 2014.
Stephanie Mock | Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
Stephanie Mock is in her first year as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach for Olympic Sports. Mock is primarily responsible for men’s and women’s track and field and volleyball.
Mock worked as a graduate assistant at Clemson University and earned her Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development. Mock was responsible for training Women’s Tennis, Women’s Diving, Women’s Golf, Men’s and Women’s Cheer and Volleyball. Prior to becoming a graduate assistant Mock also completed an internship at Clemson University along with completing internships at University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University Strength and Conditioning programs.
Mock graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. While attending West Virginia University, Mock was a collegiate athlete on the women’s volleyball team finishing her career with Big East All-Academic Honors and Athletic Directors Honor Roll. Mock holds the SCCC certification through the CSCCA organization.