Kate Morrell joined the FGCU volleyball staff as an assistant coach in February 2020 and has since been elevated to Associate Head Coach.
Morrell joins the Eagles from Mercer University, where she served as an assistant indoor and beach volleyball coach since August 2017. While there, she had head coaching responsibilities for the beach program, while recruiting and training indoor players such as Annie Karle and Brittany Major, who both earned Southern Conference all-freshman team honors in 2018. Both players then landed a spot on the 2019 Southern Conference all-tournament team.
Morrell also served as the Master Coach of Texas One Volleyball in Houston from June 2016 to May 2017 following a successful playing career that saw her play professionally in the Philippines, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Morrell played collegiately as an outside hitter at UAB following a one-year stint at Hutchinson Community College. She was a member of both the indoor and beach programs at UAB, where she was a three-year letter-winner and was named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll while serving as a team captain in 2012-13. She graduated with a bachelor of arts in public relations in May 2013.
The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball program and head coach Matt Botsford announced the hiring of assistant coach and former FGCU great Dana Axner on June 27, 2023.
Axner was a highly decorated libero during her five-year Eagles career. She emerged as a two-time ASUN Conference Defensive Player of the Year and also became FGCU's and the ASUN's all-time leader in career digs (2,486).
"I had the pleasure of coaching Dana for five seasons, and during that time, I learned a lot about who she was as a player, a competitor and a person," Botsford said. "In each of those categories, she was elite. When I learned that she had a desire to continue her path within the sport as a coach, I knew if I could ever make it happen that I would love to work with her. Dana is a teacher by trade and by heart, and that is ultimately what we do. I have seen her in action on that front, and as I have grown accustomed to seeing from her, she is phenomenal. From the start, first as a recruit and then as a player, Dana always shared my vision for what FGCU volleyball could become. She helped make a lot of that vision become a reality, but she understands there is more ahead we aspire to do. She wants to help contribute to this next step. There is no doubt we are closer today because of her addition to our staff."
During her time in the Green & Blue, her backrow prowess helped fuel 121 wins, seven Power Five victories, the program's first win over a ranked opponent, three ASUN Tournament Championships and two NCAA Tournament First Round wins.
FGCU is one of only 15 programs nationally to have recorded 120 or more wins in the past five seasons.
In 2022, Axner guided the Eagles (26-7, 13-3 ASUN) to back-to-back ASUN Tournament Championships with a sweep of top-seeded Liberty, punching FGCU's ticket back to the Big Dance for the third time in the past five campaigns.
The Dublin, Ohio, native earned all-conference recognition all five seasons, including first-team distinction in 2018 and 2019. Axner was also a three-time ASUN All-Academic Team honoree and awarded the ASUN's Fall Winner of Life distinction in 2021.