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Dobyns-Bennett volleyball coach to join Alabama staff

Jeff Birchfield • Jan 9, 2019 at 6:53 PM

Dobyns-Bennett volleyball coach Megan Devine Ailshie was named an assistant coach at the University of Alabama in an announcement posted Wednesday on the school's website.

Her mother, Lindsey Devine, was named Alabama coach on Dec. 18 after spending the previous 16 seasons at East Tennessee State. Devine also named Ladislav Lelkes as an assistant coach and Emily Orrick as director of operations.

Lelkes spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Devine at ETSU, making back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018. Prior to his time at ETSU, Lelkes was an assistant coach at East Carolina in 2016 and Barton College in 2014 and 2015. He played two seasons on Barton's men's team serving as a team captain in 2012 and 2013.

Ailshie played for her mother at ETSU from 2010-13 before joining the staff as a volunteer assistant in 2015 after playing professionally in Sweden with Hylte VBK. While playing for the Bucs, she was a two-time Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year and earned AVCA All-America accolades in 2013.

"It's an unbelievable opportunity for me to join my mom, Ladislav Lelkes and Emily Orrick who both worked with her at ETSU," Ailshie said. "To go to a place like Alabama, it's such a great opportunity. Alabama had a decent year, 20-12 last season. They just didn't finish too well in the SEC. We're going to evaluate, see what recruits are coming in and push them to the next level. We want to take Alabama further down the road in the SEC and hopefully in the NCAAs."

Ailshie spent the last three seasons as Dobyns-Bennett head coach, compiling a 95-20 overall record. It included three Big 7 Conference championships, two District 1-AAA and two Region 1-AAA championships.

The Lady Indians went 37-4 last season, finishing third in the TSSAA Class AAA state tournament.

Ailshie was a standout high school athlete at Dobyns-Bennett, leading the Lady Indians to three straight state tournament appearances, culminating with the 2009 Class AAA state championship and a 52-3 record her senior season.

"D-B is home to me and very special," Ailshie said. "Especially this year with that senior class, they were the first class that came in with me. It's sad, but it's exciting for the team coming up. I know they're going to be in great hands and they will continue to succeed on the court and in the classroom."

Dobyns-Bennett athletic director Larry Shively said in a text the volleyball position would be posted immediately and the school would be looking for the best possible person to lead the program.

Shively praised Ailshie for her service to the Lady Indians and wished her the best in her new endeavor.

"I'm happy for Megan's opportunity at the University of Alabama," Shively said in a text. "She served our student athletes at Dobyns-Bennett at a high level in her time here. I am proud of the things she and her staff and her players have accomplished.

"Our players achieved on the court and in the classroom under her leadership. D-B volleyball is in a good place and we will continue to move forward. We will certainly miss Megan and wish her well."