Volleyball coach moves up to new senior administrative role

Photo: Moe Melhart advising a student athlete

March 22, 2022

By Kevin Gilmore and Sophia Huang McKenzie

CSUMB’s “Strength Through Diversity” awareness campaign aims to build on our ongoing commitment to inclusive excellence. Stories, social media posts, and special events throughout the academic year will celebrate diversity and highlight the many identity groups represented by the students, faculty, staff, and alumni that make up the CSUMB community. March is Women's History Month.

After a successful six-year run as head coach of the CSUMB volleyball program, Maureen “Moe” Melhart has moved full-time to the administrative suite. She’s now the Otters’ assistant athletic director for external operations and senior woman administrator.

“I came here nearly seven years ago to do my part to grow this program and continue building a strong culture within this volleyball program, and I believe that we have accomplished that,” Melhart said. “Now, I think I have an opportunity to help elevate our entire department, and we owe it to our coaches and student-athletes to give them that.”

Melhart is one of several women in leadership positions with Otter Athletics: ​​Amanda Jennings, head athletic trainer; Jessica Benedetti, assistant athletic trainer; and five head coaches for the women’s sports teams. They are: Andrea Kenney, softball; Courtney Materazzi, volleyball; Emily Schmit, water polo; CJ Vaifanua-Pace, basketball; and Laura VanWart, soccer.

Melhart said the number of women is “very significant and unique” in athletics.

“This really shows the belief in female administration, coaches, trainers, and support staff and shows our student-athletes what female leadership can look like,” she said.

“Athletic Director Kirby Garry has always been a vocal supporter of hiring female coaches and supporting their growth and development during their time at CSUMB. As a former coach here at CSUMB and someone that was hired by Kirby, I know how much it means to him to have female head coaches in five of our seven sports.”

Read more in the the Fall/Winter 2021 edition of the Monterey Bay Magazine.