Both Central Valley School District high schools hired new volleyball coaches Monday, with both schools turning to teachers from outside the Pacific Northwest to head successful programs with a host of quality returning veteran players. Both new coaches have an enviable track record of success.
Amanda Bailey takes over the program at Central Valley after a dozen years coaching high school volleyball. In 10 years at Washington High School in Pensacola, Fla., she led the Wildcats to eight regional tournaments and five consecutive District 1-4A championships. In two seasons in Ocean Springs, Miss., Bailey led the Greyhounds to 49 wins in 66 matches and back-to-back appearances in the Class III state finals.
“I’m especially excited about Amanda coming here because she’s first and foremost a teacher,” CV athletics director Butch Walter said. “She’s going to be teaching at North Pines and not at CV, unfortunately, but I still think that brings a definite mindset to the program that we were looking for.
“She’s had a lot of success turning a couple programs around and doing it quickly. Here we have a program that’s already in very good shape and I’m excited to see what she can do with it.”
Bailey is in the process of moving to Spokane with her husband, whose transfer to the area prompted her to seek the job.
“She’ll get here in the next week or two and then we’ll get her introduced to the team and get started planning for the season,” Walter said.
Bailey is the second coach with a history of success coaching high school volleyball in Florida to take over a program in the Greater Spokane League. Gonzaga Prep hired Jill Benson, wife of Eastern Washington University coach Wade Benson, after she had success coaching Niceville High in Miramar, Fla.
University High tabbed Mike Summers to head its volleyball program. Summers comes to the Titans from Lake Park-Audubon and Detroit Lakes high schools in Minnesota, where he has coached both high school and club volleyball.
“The day I called Mike to formally offer him the job, he’d just gotten off the phone with School District 81, who had just offered him a teaching job,” University athletics director Ken VanSickle said. “He had himself a pretty good day.”
Summers will teach at a Spokane Public Schools elementary school.
He’s already in the area and has been working with the program’s summer volleyball camp.
“The camp is for younger kids, but varsity players are there every day helping to work with them so I’ve gotten to know them already and I’m excited to get to work,” he said. “I’m impressed with the skill level they have. You can tell they’ve been working hard, playing club volleyball and working to make themselves better players.”
Summers said he’s well aware of the challenge coaching volleyball in the GSL represents.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the other coaches in the league and getting to know what their programs do,” he said. “I like knowing what to expect and helping my players know what to look for. My teams play defense first – the offense works off of playing good defense – so we can kind of scheme the defense for what we expect an opponent to do.
“I don’t have a lot of information on the rest of the league yet. But with four new coaches coming in I’m thinking there’s a real chance to see a changing of the guard, so to speak.”