McClelland discusses Starr’s comments

By Tom Annino - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On April 12th, McNeese State announced their head volleyball coach Dale Starr was resigning.  He has taken the same position at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania.

I conducted a phone interview with Starr where he said the biggest reason for leaving McNeese was so his family could pursue better career and educational opportunities.

Starr went on to say a lesser contributing factor was the budgetary and monetary discrepancies between Louisiana schools and Texas schools in the Southland Conference.

One day later, I asked MSU athletic director Tommy McClelland to respond to Starr's comments.

"The bottom line is this," McClelland said.  "There's only, I can't be quoted, but there's only three hundred some odd division one jobs in America in volleyball.  There will be someone, qualified people that desire to be a division one head coach and love to live in Lake Charles.  I think we all have our challenges when it comes to budget with the state of Louisiana and the things that we're going through now.  But I can tell you this is a great opportunity, it's a great job, we have great facilities, and we have a great group of girls who are ready and poised to do something in the Southland Conference."

When asked if he believed there is a budgetary discrepancy between Southland Conference schools in Texas and Louisiana, McClelland says McNeese State can compete with anyone in the SLC.

"To some degree to say that on the state side of funding may be different, our funding is very competitive in relation and we're able to do that through private sources whether it be through corporate sponsors, attendance at games, and those such of things," McClelland said.  "Again, I feel that we're competitive."

McClelland also talked about how he believes Lake Charles is a great place for student athletes to live.

"Many of our coaches talk about recruiting and they say (to recruits) you're going to be in the classroom four or five hours a day.  You're going to be on the field or the court two or three hours a day.  What are you doing with the rest of your time?  You're living in a city and there's no better city to live in than Lake Charles," McClelland said.

McClelland says he has a good relationship with Starr.  He also said "time is of the essence" when asked about the timetable to fill the vacant volleyball head coaching position.

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