ASU head coach Jason Watson hired at Arkansas

As a head coach at ASU, Watson went 126-129 and made four consecutive NCAA tournaments.

After serving as the ASU volleyball head coach for eight years, Jason Watson has been named the head coach of University of Arkansas volleyball.

"This move doesn't come at the expense of any frustration or dissatisfaction of what's going on here at ASU," Watson said in a phone call.

He said that administration has always supported him and he loves the team.

"I loved coaching this team," he said. "I loved each and every one of them for what they brought to the table."

Last year, the Razorbacks went 17-13 and did not get into the NCAA tournament.

He said that the decision to move was based on what would be best for his family, specifically in terms of finances.

"Before I was a coach and long after I'm a coach I'm going to be a husband and a father and those two roles are really serious and those two roles are something that I need to be good at," he said. "From that standpoint, it allows me to go do some of those things."

At ASU, Watson had a career record of 126-129. He led the team to NCAA tournaments four years in a row, going 78-54 in those four seasons.

He helped turn a struggling ASU program into on that is nationally recognized. In 2012, ASU began 11-2. In 2015, the team went 15-0 and rose as high as No. 5 overall before key players got injured and the team limped to a 19-13 finish.

Watson said he sees a fifth appearance in the future. The current freshman class is strong, and seven players that received consistent playing are expected to play next year.

"They're poised to go to a fifth one, they're that good," Watson said.

Watson said the hiring process was a quick one. Arkansas requested permission to speak with him last week. On Monday, he and his wife flew out. On Wednesday, he received the offer, and after he agreed,  Watson said the first person he let know was ASU Vice President of Athletics Ray Anderson.

“We are very proud of Jason Watson and the job he did at Arizona State University," Anderson said. "He returned the program to national prominence and departs with a solid foundation in place. As I am with any Sun Devil staffer, I am proud of our coaches and staff when they can improve their family situations."

It's the second coaching change for ASU volleyball since the offseason began. In December, associate head coach Linda Hampton-Keith accepted a head coaching position at North Carolina State University.

Watson sees his time at ASU as a success.

"I think there are a lot of firsts here that occurred in the eight years we were here," Watson said. "Attendance was up, revenue for us was up, interest was up, the level of play was up... I look back on it favorably and I feel like we've been able to achieve a lot."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include quotes from Watson.

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