For new Central Valley High School volleyball coach Laurie (Putnam) Henry, the job is a goal realized.
Henry has returned to her alma mater, something she told herself she would one day do.
“For me, it’s nice being home. I love being back at the school I graduated from,” she said. “It gave everything to me.”
The youngest of seven brothers and sisters to attend CV, Henry was a three-sport athlete and class president each of her three years there.
Barry Poffenroth, who coached her in softball at CV remembered his second baseman as, “very competitive and she was a good team player. If she coaches like she played, she will get the most out of her players and will be fine.”
Since graduating in 1984, Henry attended three years of college majoring in criminal justice with the intent of becoming a state patrolmen.
When her late father suffered a stroke, she left school and worked in a bank and as a behavior intervention assistant in Reardan and District 81 schools. He died of cancer last year.
She is married to Harrington teacher Clay Henry, has a 4-year-old child and has coached various sports at area schools for eight years. Last year she was Medical Lake’s head volleyball coach and just recently completed coaching Ferris’s ninthgrade softball team.
She is currently completing her plysical education degree at Eastern Washington University and will do her student teaching next year.
“We interviewed six candidates and all were well qualified,” said CV activities coordinator Jay Rydell. “Laurie came across as as a lot stronger. She had head coaching experience we felt comfortable with.”
Rydell said that Henry also fit CV’s current need for an out-of-building coach.
“Hopefully a year from now there will be a position and we can bring her in the building,” he said.
In replacing Jennifer Randall, who moved with her husband to the coast, Henry said her goal is to be a coach players believe in and who can reestablish a love of the game.
“Volleyball is more a challenge and I like a challenge,” she said, comparing it to the other sports she has coached. “I also like how advanced volleyball has become and every year it becomes moreso.”
Two other Valley coaching positions - wrestling and girls basketball at East Valley High School - have yet to be filled.