According to Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh, Langner will join three other coaches who have already been hired for men’s basketball, tennis and competitive cheerleading. The school is seeking a golf coach for both men and women and is also planning to add men’s and women’s cross country.
The Lady Roadrunners will begin play in 2013 but will not be eligible for postseason play until 2014.
“Bruna’s pedigree as a player and a coach helped her cause, but you do not hire people just on the basis of who they have been associated with,” Waugh said in a press release from the college. “We think she is a great fit because she is intelligent, enthusiastic and loves the game of volleyball.
“She also has numerous local contacts and is very well-connected internationally. We are excited to have her on board and once our funding is competitive with other teams nationally, I have no doubt she will have our team competitive nationally.”
Langner, a native of Curitiba, Brazil, was a three-time NAIA All-American and has served as a full-time assistant coach under coaches Andrea and Kevin Hudson for the last three years.
A four-year starter for the Lady Flames, she was the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the NAIA Region XIII Player of the Year in 2006. During her playing years, Lee made four straight appearances in the NAIA national tournament, and the middle blocker is the school’s all-time leader in blocks.
She is in the top 10 in four different statistical categories for the Lady Flames and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in November.
Langner spent a year as a graduate assistant at the University of the Cumberlands. She returned to Lee as a grad assistant and was later hired as a full-time assistant under coaches Andrea and Kevin Hudson.
The Lady Flames recently concluded their 11th overall appearance and fifth consecutive trip to the NAIA national tournament. Lee finished the season with a 30-11 mark and will jump to NCAA Division II next season.
“I am thrilled and honored to be the first women's volleyball coach at Dalton State,” said Langner after the official hiring announcement was made. “This is a great opportunity to do what I love. I have been working under great coaches and now it is my turn to put on the table everything I know and have learned all these years. I couldn't be more excited about getting this job.”
She went on to praise the mentorship of her Lee coaches: “Andrea and Kevin definitely helped me all the way from being a player and to becoming a coach. They pushed me really hard in practices and games. They definitely believed more in my potential than I believed in myself.
“I have learned everything about coaching because of them. They gave me the opportunity to work with them, even knowing that I didn't have any experience coaching. I was really lucky to have been coached and later on ... work beside two of the top coaches in the nation. I have already told them that they will be getting calls from me because I am sure I will still need their help, especially in building a brand-new program.”
Langner said she came to Lee without knowing anything about the school. “It was a cultural shock, but now I thank God every day for placing me at this school. I met so many great people that I can now call friends, and I also was able to build a closer relationship with God.
My four years playing at Lee were amazing and my four years working as an assistant coach and the facility coordinator were even better,” she added. “I will miss so many people here but I am just down the road and I’m definitely going to be around because, ‘Once a Flame, always a Flame!’ I just want to thank all the Lee family and friends that I made during the years. It is a great school with a great work environment.”
The Dalton State volleyball team will call Bandy Gymnasium its new home. The more than 40-year-old facility will undergo a projected $425,000 renovation. Announced in November, the renovation will include new wood flooring and replacement of the bleachers, ceiling and lighting. Waugh said the new facility will hold between 300 and 400 spectators, which he called “perfect” for volleyball.