ALTON - Mike McBrien, who was in his first year as head coach of the girls volleyball team at Alton High, resigned on Thursday, effective immediately, citing personal reasons. Phil Hamilton has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

McBrien had coached the Redbirds to a 10-11-1 record before stepping down. Hamilton, an attorney with the Farrell, Hamilton and Julian law firm P.C., is a very well-known coach on the club circuit and was also head coach of the girls team at St. Mary's Catholic grade school in Alton. He's a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., as well as the Southern Methodist University law school in Dallas.

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"This situation created by the sudden resignation of coach McBrien is definitely not ideal with the timing of the opening," said Alton High athletic director Chris Kusnerick in a press release issued by the school's athletic department. "Alton High School will do everything in its power to offer support to coach Hamilton and the entire Lady Redbirds girls volleyball staff and players."

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Hamilton has coached many of the players on both club teams and at St. Mary's, which make him familiar with the Redbirds' players.

"We have some excellent student-athletes in our girls volleyball program," Kusnerick said, "and I am confident they will continue to attack their season with the same dedication and commitment they have shown all year to have a successful season on all of our levels of girls volleyball at AHS."

The Board of Education of Alton Community Unit School District 11 will open the position up to all candidates later in the school year.

The Redbirds lost at O'Fallon in Hamilton's debut as head coach on Thursday night 25-10, 25-13.

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