North Carolina A & T Volleyball Camp
Head Coach / Camp Director
Hal Clifton became the ninth head coach in the history of the North Carolina A&T volleyball program on August 2, 2011 when Director of Athletics Earl Hilton announced his signing. He comes to A&T with the charge of leading the Aggies back to the success they enjoyed during the 1990's and early 2000's. Clifton enters his third season and has made tremendous strides with the Aggies program.
In his second season as the Aggies head coach, Clifton led the Aggies to three conference wins, the most since the 2007 season. He also recruited an impressive freshman class that included 2012 first-team All-MEAC libero Ashley Johnson. In his first season, Aggies were a young team and had the minimum of six players on the roster to start the season. Clifton developed those players and added others to the team as the season progressed. Despite the obstacles, Clifton converted outside hitter Chelsea Fox into a strong setter and he oversaw the steady improvement of middle hitter Andrea Evans. He saw five players named to the MEAC All-Academic Team in 2011.
Clifton came to A&T after concluding his sixth season as the assistant coach of the Elon Phoenix. He played a major part in turning the Phoenix from a 9-23 team in 2005 to a squad that finished in first place in the Southern Conference North Division in 2010 with a 21-14 overall record and an 11-5 mark in the league. Clifton came to Elon University in August of 2005 from St. Andrews Presbyterian College where he served as the assistant coach for the 2004 season.
At St. Andrews, Clifton helped lead the team to the NCAA Division II Tournament and a regional ranking of seventh. The team tied a school record with 14 conference victories and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Clifton coached four all-conference athletes at St. Andrews and one conference freshman of the year.
Before his stint at St. Andrews, Clifton spent three years as the head coach at Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, N.C. At Jack Britt, he achieved an overall record of 62-20, including a 28-2 season. Clifton was a three-time Mid-Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and the Cape Fear Region Coach of the Year in 2003. He led Jack Britt to consecutive conference championships and state tournament appearances in 2002 and '03. Clifton coached three Mid-Southeastern Conference players of the year along with nine all-conference selections.
Clifton also served six seasons as the head coach of the Carolina Region High Performance club team from 2002-2007. In 2003 and '04, he served as the head coach of the developmental team before becoming the head coach of the youth team in 2005. Clifton also spent three seasons with the Fayetteville Area Volleyball Association as a head coach. His 17-and-under team won the Carolina Regional Championship and three other tournaments in 2002.
Clifton graduated with a B.S., degree in athletic training from Appalachian State University in 1994, where he played for the men's volleyball club team. While at Appalachian State, Clifton received the Ron H. "Doc" Kannoy Award for the most outstanding athletic trainer.
He earned his master's in exercise and sport science from the University of Florida in 1996. During his time at Florida, Clifton served as the athletic trainer for the World University Volleyball team while they trained and played exhibition matches throughout the state of Florida prior to going to Japan for competition. As an athletic trainer at Florida, Clifton worked with the 1994 Southeastern Conference Champion football team along with the top ranked men's tennis and men's golf programs.
Clifton and his wife, Jennifer, have two children.
Arlene Mitchell enters her sixth season as the assistant coach of the North Carolina A&T volleyball team. Mitchell has helped serve as a stabilizing force for the program, which has been led by three different head coaches in the last six years. She was also a standout athlete for the Aggies as a volleyball player.
Mitchell began her coaching career in 2008, under Lyndsay Schmiedel. After only one season as an assistant volleyball coach in 2008, Mitchell took on the role of interim head volleyball coach. As a result, Mitchell became a one-woman shop. She took on the responsibilities of scheduling matches, working on administrative matters and conducting involuntary workouts.
Mitchell retained her assistant coach position under Toni Conway for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, before becoming the assistant to Hal Clifton prior to the 2011 season. Mitchell has been a valuable part of the program in the last five years, helping with recruiting and player development. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Mitchell plays a huge role in scouting opponents, serving as a liaison between the athletic support staff and the volleyball staff and recruiting talented players to the program.
She also assures players are meeting the academic requirements necessary to remain eligible to compete. In 2011 alone, the A&T volleyball program had five student-athletes named to the MEAC All-Academic Team. Mitchell gained experience in conducting and planning practices when she coached the 16-and-under Lady Ravens, a Junior Olympic travel volleyball team in Greensboro, N.C. Mitchell organized and executed two practices per week, scheduled tournaments and taught various skills to the players.
Before entering the coaching profession, Mitchell crafted one of the best careers in the history of the North Carolina A&T volleyball program from 2003-06. She was a four-time All-MEAC selection and helped lead the Aggies to a MEAC Volleyball Championship Tournament final appearance in 2005. The Aggies posted a 31-9 conference record and won 15 or more matches in three of her four seasons. After her first year at A&T, she received Freshman Female Athlete of the Year honors from the athletics department. The booster club for A&T Athletics at the time honored her with their annual Aggie Club Award, given to the player who exhibits excellence on and off the playing surface.
During her career, she also received the North Carolina A&T Sports Hall of Fame and the A&T Senior Female Athlete of the Year awards. Mitchell ended her career as the Aggies all-time career leader in kills (1,674), attack attempts (4,487), service aces (277) and games played (430). She also holds the single-season record for attack attempts (1,275). She is second in the single-season records for kills (483-2005) and service aces (77-2005). She was fourth in the nation in aces per game with 0.77 per game in 2005 as a junior. She owns the single-match records for kills (33) and total attempts (67).
She is the only player in school history to record 1,000 kills and digs in a career, and she owns the conference record for kills per game. In each of her four years as a player, she ranked in the top 15 nationally for service aces. Mitchell did more than just serve Aggie Athletics on the court. Mitchell served as vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee during the 2005-06 school year. In 2006-07, she became the organization's president.
Mitchell graduated from A&T in 2007 with a B.S., in sports science/fitness management.