Anna Collier leaves lasting impression

SMC Kinesiology Department Chair moves on to coach USC’s newest sports team

Current Santa Monica College Kinesiology Department Chair, Anna Collier, will be stepping down from her position to become the University of Southern California’s new sand volleyball head coach for Spring 2012.

“I was first hired part-time at SMC in 1977 as the head women's cross-country, track and field coach,” said Collier, who has been at SMC for 34 years. “In 1980, I was hired as a full-time PE instructor for cross-country [and] track and field coach.”

Collier, a Trojan alumna and enthusiast, will be helping to build the new sand volleyball program at the university. The program will add to USC’s emerging sports, which also include women’s lacrosse.

“I have often thought about returning to USC and becoming a member of the coaching staff,” Collier said. “When USC added sand volleyball, I wanted to be a part of the first program at USC, much like I was a part of the first track and field program at USC.”

“USC is very fortunate to get someone with such experience,” said Joe Cascio, project manager of athletics at SMC.

Coach Collier has coached several professional beach volleyball players such as Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh and Nicole Branagh. She has also coached the USA beach volleyball team at the Olympics - Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.

Collier began her sports career at the age of nine. “I started track and field during a rodeo field day and I won first place for the sack races, the softball toss and the 50 yard dash,” said Collier.

After showing great ability, a track coach approached her and she continued to compete throughout middle school and high school.

Collier attended USC on a track and field scholarship, and she started playing volleyball in her junior year.

Anna Collier started playing professional beach volleyball after graduating, but stopped participating in competitive sports when she joined the SMC staff, first as women’s cross country coach and later - women’s athletic director.

During her time as chair of kinesiology department, Collier has helped update the program curriculum, incorporate an academic aspect and improve the department as a whole.

Coach Collier has also created a sand volleyball class at SMC, set to start in Spring 2012. “The course will be taught by Coach Elizabeth Chavez,” Collier said. This course will meet at the beach and teach the skills to any level of experience.

Spring 2012 will be Collier’s last official semester as the kinesiology department chair, but to many at SMC, she will always be a Corsair.