The Southwestern Community College athletics department has announced the college’s volleyball court will be named “Rita Schroeder Volleyball Court,” in honor of the Spartans’ long-time volleyball coach.
The court insignia will be unveiled in a ceremony prior to the Spartans’ Oct. 24 match at 6:30 p.m. against Grand View JV. The match, Southwestern’s home finale, is also Parents’ Night for the team.
Schroeder served at the helm of the Spartans from 1984 through 2009. The past three years, Schroeder has been serving as the assistant coach for the Spartans, most recently working side-by-side with head coach Melissa Blessington, a former player of Schroeder’s.
Schroeder plans to relocate to North Carolina after her departure from SWCC sometime following the 2012 volleyball season.
During Schroeder’s coaching career, the Spartans boasted a record of 705-372. In 2009, Schroeder’s 700-win coaching record helped her rank as one of the top five active coaches for winning records in Division II of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and as the highest ranking active volleyball coach in the state of Iowa.
Under Schroeder’s guidance, the Spartans competed in the NJCAA National Championships five times — in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1999. In 1999, the Spartans finished third in the NJCAA D-II National Championships.
Schroeder has coached nine All-Americans during her college coaching career. She has coached close to 100 all-region players.
Schroeder is very proud of the academic tradition Spartan volleyball teams have commanded as well. During Schroeder’s tenure, her teams have earned 10 NJCAA team academic awards and 10 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) awards. Schroeder’s teams have made the top 15 nationally numerous times, and in 1993, the team had a 3.4 grade point average, which ranked them first in the country with the NJCAA.
As SWCC coach, Schroeder has developed a system of volleyball camps for youth throughout states in the central and eastern portions of the United States. Current camps are held on an annual basis in Iowa, Louisiana, Georgia, Nebraska, and North Carolina.
In addition to being a college coach, Schroeder has also been active in club volleyball for approximately 16 years. Schroeder has coached the Southwestern Junior team to two top-six finishes in the 18-and-under Iowa regionals. In 1993, she was named the Cornbelt Outstanding Junior Volleyball Program Director and in 1994, Schroeder was named the Cornbelt Female Coach of the Year.
Schroeder is a graduate of Treynor High School. She graduated from SWCC in 1982 with her associate of arts degree and from Simpson College in Indianola in 1984 with her bachelor of arts degree in education. In addition to her coaching duties, she also works as an admissions representative for Southwestern.