Rese McNatt was inducted into Missouri State University’s Hall of Fame to recognize her standout volleyball career with the Lady Bears.
Rese McNatt’s professional volleyball career took her around the world.
McNatt, currently the athletic director at Holy Family Catholic School, played for teams in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, in locations that included Dubai, Menorca Island and in Croatia near the beach.
That professional career, which spanned about a decade, was an option available to her thanks to the remarkable collegiate career she had at Missouri State University. During her time playing for the Lady Bears, she put together one of the program’s best careers, including 390 kills as a senior.
Still, the California native was confused when a staffer from Missouri State reached out to her recently with some news.
As it turns out, she left such an impression during her time on campus that the school recently named her to its Hall of Fame and recognized her and other inductees during halftime ceremonies at Missouri State basketball games Feb. 9 and 10.
“It was a huge surprise, “ McNatt said.
The recognition and the induction ceremonies meant returning to Springfield, Missouri — a place that was home for four years.
“Campus has completely changed but is still familiar,” McNatt said. “It was just special to be recognized.”
Collegiate highlights for McNatt include a game against Creighton during her senior season where she put together a “triple-double” — registering double-digit kills, blocks and digs during the five-set victory on the Bluejays’ Senior Night.
“We were heading up to the hotel (afterward), and my coach said, ‘You had a triple-double,’ and I was like, ‘Wow’ — I just started crying,” McNatt said. “Personally, that was my biggest milestone in college.”
Her time in college was followed by a pro career that began domestically but soon had her traveling the world.
“I love traveling,” McNatt said. “I love to compete and have teammates and have bonds with people in different countries that will always be there.”
McNatt retired from playing professionally nearly two years ago, as the wear and tear of her career began to take its toll. Eager to to start the next chapter of her life, she began applying anywhere and everywhere.
She happened to be in Orlando for an event when Holy Family’s Sister Dorothy Sayers gave her a call about the school’s opening for an athletic director. McNatt canceled her flight out of town to interview for the job and, by the time the interview was complete, she had been offered — and accepted — the job.
“This just popped up and I just loved Sister Dorothy,” McNatt said.
Eighteen months later, McNatt said she is settling into her role with projects on her to-do list that include fundraising for a synthetic turf soccer field.
She said she has taken an unexpected liking to the paperwork and administrative side of the job — everything from ordering uniforms to making schedules — and has enjoyed getting to know the students.
“I love the kids, and I love still being involved in sports,” McNatt said.