15UA Assistant Coach
The excitement continues as Kelly Files joins Charge for 2022-23! The former AVCA Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year will be the assistant coach for 15UA. When Santiago Restrepo accepted the head coaching position at the University of Oklahoma, the first thing he did was ensure that Kelly would be joining him in Norman. Files, who played under Restrepo at Southern Miss, was key in the emergence of the Golden Eagles as a Conference USA and regional power.
Files spent 12 years in the program before deciding to follow her husband Brandon to Azerbaijan, where he was appointed the rank of major and served as a Bilateral Affairs Officer with the Oklahoma National Guard and State Department. The decision to step away from volleyball was done in the best interest of family, the most meaningful pillar of OU volleyball, as Kelly, Brandon and their daughter Charlee could be together.
The opportunity to return to Norman and the program came just 18 months after Files’ final game on the bench in the 2015 season. In her year away from the collegiate game, she took the opportunity to coach high school players, while in Azerbaijan.
Files first stint at Oklahoma began in 2004 alongside Restrepo. In 2009, Files was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as the inaugural recipient of the Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Files was nominated for the award following an 11-month span in which Restrepo’s youngest son, Javier, suffered a relapse of leukemia. During this time, she took on additional staff responsibilities so Restrepo could be with his family.
Files served as acting head coach for the final two matches of the 2008 season as Restrepo’s son was about to undergo a second transplant operation. She quietly continued to carry these duties into the summer as the Restrepo family dealt with the passing of Javier in July 2009.
In 2003, Files accepted her first full-time coaching position at her alma mater, Southern Miss, where she had previously served as a graduate assistant. Following an outstanding playing career at Southern Miss, Files finished her career ranked among the top 10 leaders in several statistical categories. She was a four-year starter and letterwinner and led the team in kills, service aces and blocks her final two seasons. During her playing career, she was named to several all-tournament teams.
Files received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in May 2002 and completed her master’s degree in sports administration in December 2004.
Files was a three-year letterwinner in volleyball for Coach Patty McWilliams at Blue Springs South High School in Blue Springs, Mo. She was named all-state, all-conference and all-district for three straight years. The three-year All-Kansas City Area performer was named “Player of the Year” in 1997, and was selected to participate in the Kansas City All-Star Volleyball Game.