Arbini brings a wealth of experience coaching at a variety of levels, including at both the collegiate and high school levels in the greater St. Louis region. Arbini coached previously at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for four seasons, and with USA Volleyball, where his teams have medaled multiple times in national-level tournaments. Arbini also served as the head coach at Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School from 2000-03.
Arbini views the opportunity at STLCC as a chance to put his stamp on a program that will be revived under his leadership.
“It gives me a chance to come in and make history,” Arbini said. “I get to revitalize a program and build it from the ground up. That made this a very unique opportunity.”
While recruiting an entirely new roster presents its set of challenges, the buffer year for the program also allows for a quick installment of the winning culture Arbini hopes to instill early on. Arbini also looks forward to tapping into the ample recruiting ground that has been available since the program became districtwide in 2011.
“There is nothing preceding this in some ways, where we get to say, ‘This is how we do things and this is how the program will run,’” Arbini said. “Recruiting a brand new team, in and of itself, is a daunting challenge, but one of the things that helps is that if you can take all of the talented players in the area as opposed to separating them to different (STLCC) campuses, you can build more of a super-team.”
Despite that districtwide collaboration four years ago, the addition of recruiting ground did not lead to a tremendous amount of success on the volleyball court. The Archers won just six games over the past two seasons before the program was suspended last fall.
When looking over candidates who would be tasked with reviving his volleyball program, Shawn Summe, STLCC athletic director, viewed Arbini as a candidate who could apply necessary changes to the program in short order. Also a recent addition to Archers athletics, Summe pointed to Arbini’s success at multiple levels of coaching as key to being offered the job.
“You see his experience in the club levels and his background in coaching at the collegiate level, as well. That really made the difference,” Summe said.