Michaela Franklin | Head Coach/Camp Owner
Michaela Franklin was named Clemson head volleyball coach on March 24, 2017 by Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich. Franklin had been associate head coach at Iowa since the spring of 2014 after stops at Green Bay (2013), Marquette (2009-12) and Northern Illinois (2006-08) following her playing career at Kansas State (2002-04).
“The minute I stepped on campus and met with the committee immediately I felt a connection with the people. As the day went on I fell more in love with Clemson because of its elite level atmosphere with a family feel,” Franklin said. “I would like to thank Dan Radakovich and the entire search committee for their due diligence and dedication to the search. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and getting to campus to work with my team.”
“Michaela wowed our search committee with her enthusiasm and organization and she stood out among an extremely impressive pool of candidates,” said Athletic Director Dan Radakovich. “I’m confident the future of Clemson volleyball is in great hands given her passion for recruiting and developing student-athletes, as well as her experience competing and coaching at the highest levels of collegiate volleyball.”
Last season, Iowa finished 19-13 overall with victories over #17 Purdue and #24 Illinois. Franklin joined Iowa after spending the 2013 season as the head volleyball coach at Green Bay. The Phoenix accomplished a 9-5 mark in Horizon League action, and Franklin had four players receive Horizon League honors at the end of the season, including three all-league selections and the conference Freshman of the Year. It was only the second time in Green Bay history three players earned all-league nods and the first time in school history the Phoenix had a freshman of the year and a total of four postseason honorees.
Prior to her time at Green Bay, Franklin spent four seasons coaching alongside current Iowa head coach Bond Shymansky as an assistant coach at Marquette. While there, she served as the team's recruiting coordinator, trained the outside hitters and was the defense coordinator. The Golden Eagles appeared in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2011 and 2012, and finished second in the Big East Conference in 2012 with a 13-2 record.
Franklin began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois from 2006-08.
Franklin played collegiate volleyball at Kansas State from 2002-04, where she helped the Wildcats to a Big 12 Championship and three NCAA Tournament appearances including a berth in the Sweet 16. The Lincoln, Neb., native graduated with a bachelor's degree in family studies and human services in 2005.
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.
Kara Thomason | Director of Volleyball Operations/Camp Operator
Clemson volleyball head coach Michaela Franklin announced the hiring of Kara Morgan as the
program’s Director of Volleyball Operations Feb. 19, 2018.
“Kara is a great addition to our Clemson volleyball family,” said Franklin. “She dazzled our hiring committee with her positive energy and organizational skills. She has a passion for developing people and serving others. I’m looking forward to working with Kara and know she is going to have a lot of success, and help our program continue to move forward.”
The Pickens, South Carolina, native lettered all four years during her playing career at Ole Miss (2010-13) as an outside hitter. Morgan ranks seventh in career kills (927), eighth in career digs (857) and second in service aces (86) in Rebel history under the rally-scoring format. She is also the only Rebel in Ole Miss history to record eight service aces in a single match under the rally-scoring format. Morgan, a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient, graduated in 2014 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology and minored in biology.
Morgan previously coached Upward Stars Upstate club program and served as a biology teacher at Eastside High School in Taylors, South Carolina.