Sports: New Coaches for Volleyball
After coaching the volleyball team to a second-place finish in the CCS championships for each of the past 3 years, Jen Wilson leaves an impressive record for new head varsity coach, Ron Whitmill, to build on. Last year’s Frosh/Soph coach Diana Branning and assistant varsity coach David Fletcher stepped down as well; Meghan Douglass and Sammi Miller will take on their respective positions.
“I thought it was worth it to get back into high school coaching,” says Whitmill, who has coached at the college level at San Jose State, Foothill College, and West Valley College. In addition, he has fourteen years of experience coaching club volleyball.
For six of those years he was coaching at Vision Volleyball, a club based out of Los Gatos. “I know a lot of the girls through club volleyball so I knew it was a good opportunity and M-A is a really good school.”
Of his goals, Whitmill says that for “the kids that live in the area that choose to go to private schools” in order to play volleyball, he wants to “create an opportunity here for them where they can stay at Menlo-Atherton and get the same experience that they’re gonna get if they’re playing at St. Francis or Menlo.”
Douglass attended and played for St. Francis during high school, going on to play for Manhattan College. She was “originally supposed to coach the freshman team,” but now coaches the J.V. team.
“We were all ready to go with [the freshman team],” explains Paul Snow, who co-directs M-A’s athletic department with Steven Kryger. “And then when Jen Wilson decided to step down, she was the stability in the coaching department there and with her gone, we didn’t want to bring that to a brand new coach.” For now the freshman team will be postponed.
Miller, the new assistant varsity coach, went to Aragon and has played for Whitmill on Vision. She also won a medal in the 18s Division of the Junior Olympics.
Mr. Kryger notes, “[The new coaches] really understand the value of academics, they get what it means to be a high school athlete…you really need a team of coaches and I think Ron has put together a great staff. Having seen all three of them coaching, I think we’re really fortunate.”