Tealer to Join Volleyball Coaching Staff

Azhani Tealer is a former national champion, current professional volleyball player in Orlando

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bringing years of experience playing at the highest level, former national champion and Kentucky middle blocker Azhani Tealer will be joining Vanderbilt volleyball as an assistant coach head coach Anders Nelson announced Wednesday.

“I am thrilled to add Azhani to our staff,” Nelson said. “I’ve known her since high school and coached her at Kentucky; it’s been a joy watching her grow into the person and player she is today. Her experience playing in the SEC and in the Pro Volleyball Federation will serve as a valuable asset to our team. She has a championship mindset and exemplifies what it means to be a team player. With her courage, knowledge and passion, I know she will serve as an incredible role model to our student-athletes. Welcome to Nashville, Z!”

Upon graduation from Kentucky in December, Tealer was drafted by the Orlando Valkyries for the inaugural season of the PVF.

As a student-athlete, Tealer was a two-time AVCA All-America second team selection (2020, ‘22), three-time AVCA all-region honoree (2020, ’22-23) and was named to the All-SEC team on four occasions (2020-23). And, on four occasions she was named the league’s defensive player of the week.

A member of Kentucky’s national championship team in 2021, she helped the Wildcats win at least a share of five SEC titles.

Tealer holds Kentucky’s season and career attack percentage records (minimum 500 attempts). In 2021, she boasted an attack percentage of .430. Her career attack percentage with the Wildcats was .377.

While prepping at Grand Prairie High School, Tealer was a three-time volleyball district champion and was named her district’s most valuable player twice. Additionally, she earned a bronze medal at the USA Volleyball 17 Open and was named the 2018 Dallas News district offensive player of the year.

Beyond her volleyball career, Tealer was an All-American track and field athlete who won a national championship and received all-state recognition. In the classroom, she was an AP Scholar and Principals Award Recipient.

“I am so excited for the opportunity to begin my coaching career at Vanderbilt,” Tealer said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to stay in the SEC and continue working with Coach Nelson. I hope to use my experiences as a student-athlete in the conference and as a professional athlete with the PVF to guide Vanderbilt’s future student-athletes. Thank you, Anders and Candice, for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help build this program from the ground up.”