Paul Pipkin now has two agendas when he attends Camden volleyball games.
For years, one has always been to cheer on daughters Kristi, who graduated, and Kara, a senior, who have been star players with the Lady Bruins.
But after Pipkin was named the head coach of the revived women’s volleyball program at Mid-Atlantic Christian University Thursday, he will no longer be going as just a father, he’ll be going as a college recruiter, too.
Take Pipkin’s word for it, he’s seeing plenty of local players who could help the Lady Mustangs when they make their debut next fall.
“We have some very talented players in our area,” he said. “I’m at most of Camden’s games, but I’m not just rooting for Kara, I’m looking at the other team’s players.
“I’m looking for the local talent. It would be a good fit for them. A lot of them want to be close to home, yet they still want to continue playing volleyball.
“I know them better, I know exactly what I’d be getting. Even with good players from other places, you can only go by what you hear and what you see in tapes.”
This is actually Pipkin’s second stint as the coach at MACU. Pipkin ran the program from 2004-8 when the Lady Mustangs won five consecutive conference titles before being disbanded.
MACU athletic director Neal Alligood is pleased to have Pipkin back.
“We welcome Coach Pipkin’s return, his leadership led our women to many victories before,” he said. “We look forward to seeing them succeed again as we resume the program.
“I personally had a long standing relationship with Coach Pipkin and his family. I respect his knowledge and understanding of the game and know he will be a great addition to our program.
“We have already started receiving interest from young ladies all over the country and we know that being settled with a coach will only increase the rate of recruitment.”
Actually recruiting players will be a new, and pleasant, twist on the job.
“It will be a lot different this time,” Pipkin said. “Back when I was here before I basically took what girls came to the school, found out who was interested in playing and had tryouts.
“Now we’re doing more recruiting and we’re telling them exactly what we have to offer. Our program will fit a lot of good, quality players.
“I want the best players I can get, no matter where they come from. A lot of the girls we’ll get will naturally be interested in an education of some sorts in Christianity.
“That may limit some of our recruiting, but with the dual-enroll we have with the College of The Albemarle and Elizabeth City State, that gives us a little more flexibility.”