SIC Announces Veteran Coach to Lead Falcon Volleyball

May 11, 2021

--Watts to Focus on Regional Recruitment – Tryouts Are May 22--

The Southeastern Illinois College volleyball team was suspended over two decades ago, but given the increasing popularity of the sport in high schools as compared to shrinking numbers of girls’ basketball, the decision to switch sports was logical.

The next step was to find a seasoned coach to lead the Falcons – enter Jonathan Watts.

“Jonathan brings with him a wealth of experience coaching volleyball and has an impressive list of accomplishments,” said Athletic Director Jeremy Irlbeck. “He will do a great job of putting SIC on the map very quickly.”

Watts was varsity coach at Crab Orchard High School from 2005-2017.  His team won 20 games or more for eight out of 13 seasons, garnered four regional championships, eight regional finals, six conference championships, and one Sweet 16 appearance. He then coached Johnston City High School for a couple of years. Between the two positions, his teams won over 300 high school games.

Watts also coached club volleyball for six years with SMASH Volleyball Academy and Southern Illinois Volleyball Club Academy (SIVBCA) teams. He has also administered multiple volleyball tournaments and camps in his career.

Watts considers himself a versatile coach, having years of experience and knowledge of the skill sets necessary to help players reach their highest potential of the sport. He has proven training regiments which match players abilities and create a strong mental and physical approach to the game of volleyball.  

SIC’s addition of volleyball is part of an overall strategy of using more local and regional players.

“This renewed focus to play more local and regional players in sports makes sense for the local taxpayer,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice. “We want to make sure ‘community’ is part of community college athletics.”

Dr. Chad Flannery, Executive Dean of Student Services, said that Coach Watts knows local volleyball very well.

“He won six conference championships—four in a row where he remained undefeated. That’s impressive,” said Flannery.

He was also named SIVBCA coach of the year twice and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coach of the Year.

“We are very excited to have Coach Watts as our first volleyball coach as the sport returns to campus,” said Irlbeck. “His knowledge and experience with local ties and the club volleyball scene will gives an opportunity to bring in solid local quality student athletes.  I am excited to see volleyball in Deaton Gym.”

To be considered for the team, visit and fill out the brief form or email Watts at or 618-922-4102. Coach Watts is holding a volleyball tryout Saturday, May 22, at 4 p.m. in SIC’s Deaton Gym. Scholarships may be available.