Reno, Nev. - University of Nevada head volleyball coach Devin Scruggs has announced two changes in her coaching staff for next season. Ray Batalon has been promoted to first assistant and Alanna Jackson joins the staff as the Wolf Pack’s second assistant coach. Nate Hallett returns for his second season as the volunteer assistant.
This past season marked the third for Batalon as a fulltime assistant with the program and fifth overall after spending two years as the volunteer assistant coach. In his new role he will take on additional responsibilities and duties. “I am very grateful to Devin and the administration for giving me this opportunity at Nevada and believing in my coaching abilities,” said Batalon. “I look forward to my added responsibilities and continuing to work with a great group of people.”
"I am very pleased to announce that Ray will be moving to the first assistant position with Nevada Volleyball,” added Scruggs. “I am very fortunate to have one of the best volleyball teachers in my gym every day. His ability to break down and teach skills is absolutely phenomenal.”
Jackson, a native of Sacramento, Calif., returns to Nevada were she played two seasons for the Coach Scruggs and the Wolf Pack in 1997-98. The last four years she was the assistant coach at William & Mary located in Williamsburg, Va. Prior to her time at William & Mary she was the volunteer assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara where she helped guide the team to the 2002 Big West Conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16.
In her two seasons at Nevada she dished out 2,383 assists which ranks fifth in Pack history and her 1,422 assists as a senior is the second best year in school history. In 1998 she earned All-Big West Conference second-team and academic all-conference honors as the Wolf Pack captured the Big West Conference East Division title. The Pack also made their first NCAA Tournament appearance that same season. She also received Nevada’s Ruth I. Russell Award given to the Female Student Athlete of the Year.
In 2000 she received her bachelor of arts degree in theater from Nevada then began her coaching career. She married her husband Ed in August of 2002.
“I am extremely excited to announce the return of Alanna Jackson (Whitnack) back to our Wolf Pack Volleyball program,” added Scruggs. “As the senior setter and captain of the 1998 Nevada Volleyball team, she has history in this program that is like no one else in the country. She is the perfect fit for our coaching staff as she brings experience, communication and a laughter that is truly only Alanna. Alanna has the familiarity with the Wolf Pack, yet nine years removed, she brings with her a wealth of experience and new ideas to our program. “
“Truly, it was a dream realized to be a student-athlete at Nevada and be a part of creating a new era in Wolf Pack Volleyball,” said Jackson. “ Returning to this wonderful university is an honor and I look forward to the opportunity to have a hand in its continued growth and success.”
“I am extremely fortunate to have compiled one of the best assistant coaching staffs in the country,” said Scruggs. “ Ray, Alanna, and Nate bring a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the Wolf Pack program. All three coaches have a passion for the University of Nevada and our volleyball program. Both Alanna and Ray are alums and Nate will be finishing his degree next year.”