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Division I Head Coach | Senior Woman Admin @ UWGB | Alzheimer’s Advocate | Champion for Female Leadership

Abbey Sutherland

Abbey Sutherland is more than just a Head Coach; she is an advocate for people and a promoter of holistic growth. Her credibility springs from her commitment to nurturing well-being and her success leading teams on the volleyball court.

As an NCAA Division I Head Women’s Volleyball Coach and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB), as well as a graduate of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, Sutherland is on a mission to create environments and opportunities where individuals can thrive. And as a recurrent speaker at the AVCA Convention and a participant in influential forums like the TEDx and Title IX panels, she is paving the way for leadership through sports.

As the head of UWGB’s Women’s Volleyball for the past 5 years, Sutherland has empowered young women to excel on and off the court, resulting in numerous achievements such as the Sutherland Horizon League Coach of the Year honor in 2018. Under her leadership, the team has earned American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Awards, top GPA rankings in the nation, and a strong winning record. Sutherland’s commitment to both athletic and personal development has made her a respected figure in women’s volleyball, inspiring aspiring athletes and coaches alike.

Equipped with certifications like WeCOACH Academy 2.0, Sutherland’s unwavering dedication to uplifting others is not only visible in her professional pursuits, but also through her personal interactions. She consistently displays an attuned and elevating leadership style, reinforcing psychological safety and bolstering authentic relationships throughout athletics.

Her dedication to sports and leadership also resonates in her service on numerous Director of Athletics Search and Screen Committees, proving that she’s not just a coach, but an advocate for growth and development in athletics. Sutherland’s commitment to advocacy shines most brightly through her passionate fight against Alzheimer’s. In honor of her late mother, Rhonda, who bravely battled early-onset Alzheimer’s, she

founded the annual “Attacking Alzheimer’s” match. This fundraising event has raised over $50,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association, bolstering her advocacy for Alzheimer’s research and awareness.

Her passion for philanthropy and community engagement found recognition when her team at UWGB received the prestigious 2023 Horizon League’s Bobby Fong Award. This accolade stands testament to the team’s commitment to core values of integrity, respect, and stewardship. Under Sutherland’s leadership, the team spearheaded collaborations with organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association and the Green Bay Optimist Club, extending their reach to local at-risk schools and the community at large. The team’s initiatives, ranging from hosting youth volleyball camps to celebrating 50 years of Title IX, exhibit their dedication to inclusivity, personal growth, and community engagement, beyond just athletic excellence.

Before joining UWGB, Sutherland impacted athletic departments across several universities. As the Head Volleyball Coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, she garnered multiple ‘Coach of the Year’ awards. She also led teams at the University of Southern Mississippi and served as an Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at her alma mater.

She obtained an M.A. in Teaching Languages & Spanish at Southern Mississippi and a B.A. in Spanish and Secondary Education from St. Norbert College, where she was a four-year student-athlete, eventually earning her a Hall of Fame Induction in 2019. 

Sutherland’s life and work resonate with her powerful vision: To inspire everyone she meets to become their best selves and believe in their potential. With her at the vanguard, the journey toward achieving holistic growth, empowering female leadership, and combating Alzheimer’s promises to be not just possible, but inevitable.

Inspiring leadership from the court to the community.

Leading Expertise:

  • How to enable multifaceted learning & holistic growth in and out of sports

  • Why we need more women in coaching & leadership

  • How to cultivate psychological safety in sports

  • Why it’s important to activate your community as a sports leader

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