Castaneda, Bitter join volleyball coaching staff

As the 2017 season stands just months away, Mississippi State head coach David McFatrich announced the additions of coaching standouts Diego Castaneda and Garrett Bitter to his staff last Wednesday [April 26].

"I'm very excited to welcome both Diego and Garrett to our Mississippi State Volleyball family," McFatrich said. "Not only do they each bring the experience and qualities I was looking for, such as integrity, social responsibility and great work ethic, they also share my passion for developing this program and a desire to give our volleyball student-athletes a wonderful collegiate experience."

Both Castaneda and Bitter bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Maroon and White, as the two have become rising stars in the coaching ranks over the last several years.

Diego Castaneda

A well-known figure on the volleyball coaching circuit who has had stops in the Big 12, ACC and SEC, Castaneda joins the Maroon and White as an assistant coach and the Bulldogs' recruiting coordinator. Castaneda makes his way to Starkville via Athens, Ga., where he spent last season as an assistant with the Georgia Bulldogs.

A native of Bogota, Colombia, Castaneda earned both his bachelor's (2008) and master's (2010) degrees from Baylor University.

"Diego's strengths are his strong recruiting ties, his experience in the Big 12 and ACC, and his great work ethic," McFatrich said.

Garrett Bitter

Bitter comes to Starkville after spending last season as an assistant with the Stony Brook Seawolves. In his year at Stony Brook, Bitter helped produce a pair of America East All-Conference honorees, as McKyla Brooks was named All-America East First Team and Maria Poole earned All-America East Rookie Team laurels. The Seawolves finished the year second in the America East in hitting percentage (.197), total assists (1,274), total kills (1,382) and total attacks (3,736).

Bitter holds both a bachelors and masters degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, graduating in 2012 with a bachelors in mathematics teaching before gaining his masters in educational leadership in 2015.

"Garrett has a very good mind for the game of volleyball, which has immediately helped us in the gym," McFatrich said. "He sees the game well and has a great teaching manner. He does well in both individual and group training session and also has strong recruiting ties, which will help us greatly in that regard."

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