EPHRAIM—While some see it as the end of an era for Snow College volleyball, it may be more just the end of an era for Jeff Reynolds.
Reynolds, the five-year coach of the Snow College Lady Badgers volleyball team, announced last week that he would be stepping down as head coach of the program and leaving Snow College as he recently accepted the position of head volleyball coach at Lander University in South Carolina.
Reynolds also spent his time at Snow working as the sports information director, a one-man media correspondent for the entire athletic program who personally oversaw the snowbadgers.com website.
Reynolds called it a “bittersweet thing” to be moving away from the Sanpete Valley, which he has called home for seven years. “When we came here, it was exactly what we needed,” Reynolds said. “Our family’s been so blessed to have benefitted from friendships and relationships that have been forged over the time that we’ve been here. It’s sad to be packing up and leaving. If I could pick and choose different pieces of my career, I’d love to take Ephraim with me.”
Reynolds’ new job puts him in Division II in the NCAA as he’ll be looking to coach the Bearcats to the top of the Peach Belt Conference. After seven years of placing high in conference standings and multiple seasons of 20-plus wins, the bottom fell out for the Bearcats in the pandemic-delayed season, and they finished 3-11 overall, leading to the resignation of their previous coach and Reynolds’ eventual hiring.
“The thing that really attracted me to this job was that the campus and the people felt a lot like Snow,” Reynolds said. “The people were just genuine, kind, and friendly. It feels like the spirit of Snow.”
Reynolds led the Lady Badgers to consecutive Scenic West Athletic Conference titles in 2019 and 2020-21. Their title in 2019 was their first outright conference championship since 1986.
This last season was the greatest volleyball season in Snow history. The Badgers finished with a school-best 26-3 record, won the SWAC championship, and went on to win the Rocky Mountain District title for the second-straight year as well. They then played their way through the field at the National Championship tournament and appeared in the title match for the first time ever.
The Lady Badgers were ranked in the NJCAA Top 20 for 49 straight weeks over Reynolds’ five seasons, including 45 of those weeks in the Top 10. Snow finished ranked No. 2 in the nation this last season.
“Following the old Boy Scout motto, we left it better than we found it,” Reynolds said. “That has a lot to do with the kids, the administration, the staff and everybody’s involvement. That’s not just ‘Jeff Reynolds’, that’s 40 or 50 people.”
Essentially working two full-time jobs for Snow’s athletic department didn’t weigh too much on Reynolds. When athletic director Robert Nielson was asked for clarification on if Reynolds responsibilities would be filled by multiple people, his answer was simply, “Not sure, will depend on the new hire.”
“My father taught me my whole life that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” Reynolds said. “I’ve loved every minute being at Snow College, and never have I felt like this was work. It’s been a labor of love.”