NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Russell Corbelli, an ascendent assistant coach with experience in the SEC and as part of championship programs, will help Vanderbilt head coach Anders Nelson build the university’s reintroduced volleyball program. Nelson announced the addition of Corbelli as the program’s first assistant coach on Wednesday.
“I’m thrilled to hit the ground running by welcoming Russell, his wife, Sally, and their newborn son, Micah, to the Vanderbilt volleyball family,” Nelson said. “He brings a lifelong passion for the sport and a unique blend of youthful energy and experience beyond his years. He shares my commitment to giving student-athletes the tools to shatter their ceilings and leave Vanderbilt ready to excel at everything they do. Our program will have a lot of firsts in the weeks, months and years to come, and hiring Russell as our first assistant coach is a perfect way to begin.”
Corbelli is the first addition to a coaching staff that will continue to grow ahead of the program’s official on-court debut in the 2025–26 academic year. He will lead recruiting and serve as the defensive coordinator, among other responsibilities.
“The opportunity to work with someone I respect as much as Anders at a university as committed as Vanderbilt to developing champions and leaders is a dream come true,” Corbelli said. “Volleyball helped shape me and gave me opportunities to grow and become the coach, husband, father and friend I hope I am today. Creating a space at Vanderbilt for volleyball student-athletes to become their best on and off the court is a challenge and a privilege. I’m grateful to Anders and Vice Chancellor [Candice] Lee and excited to get to work on finding future Commodores.”
Corbelli most recently served as an assistant coach at Missouri, where he helped the Tigers navigate a 2020 season interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and reach the rescheduled NCAA Tournament the following spring.
Before his time at Missouri, Corbelli served as a volunteer assistant coach with Stanford teams that won back-to-back national championships and compiled a 64-5 record across all matches in 2018–19. In addition to serving as the lead scout in opponent attacking, serving and passing, he worked with first-team All-Americans Jenna Gray and Morgan Hentz and two-time AVCA National Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer, among others.
In all, Corbelli arrives at Vanderbilt with a decade of coaching experience, time that also includes serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Texas A&M and leading the Aggie Elite Volleyball Club (2016–18) and Texas A&M men’s volleyball club (2016–17). He also competed for the Texas A&M men’s club team.
A member of one of collegiate volleyball’s most well-known families, Corbelli’s mother is former longtime Texas A&M coach Laurie Corbelli, while his father is former Texas A&M associate head coach John Corbelli. His parents also won silver medals while representing the United States in volleyball in the 1984 Olympics, Laurie as an athlete and John as a coach. His sister, Rachel, is currently an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Auburn.
Corbelli graduated from Texas A&M University in 2016 with a degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis in finance and real estate.