Volleyball Coaching Wizard Tod Mattox

Coaching with a Subversive Streak

Tod Mattox likes to do things a little differently than other coaches. It seems to be working! He’s one of the most respected high school coaches not just in his local San Diego area volleyball community, but throughout California and beyond.

His resume includes:

  • Over 600 wins in 30 years of high school coaching, including 7 San Diego County Championships
  • USA Volleyball Leadership Award in 2008
  • 2016 Head Coaches Award from the San Diego Hall of Champions
  • AVP beach coach
  • Long-time coaching clinician

Here’s some of what Tod discusses in his interview:

– Challenging assumptions

– Managing team parents

– Coaching evaluations and looking to improve as a coach over the season

– Working with players on college recruiting

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Tod’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

High school coaches can’t be among the world’s best?

Volleyball Coaching WizardsSorry if this seems like a rant. We need to respond to a comment that speaks to the very heart of the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project, though. Someone who rated the first 8 cover design options under consideration left it anonymously.

For the cover shown at left they said:

“how does high school .. and world’s greatest coaches make sense – only in usa perhaps”

Firstly, the “High School Greats” bit is just a sample bit of text offered off the top of the head as a placeholder. You can see the “developing the team concept” alternative used in some of the designs. Actual book topics are not decided yet.

Second, and more importantly, why can’t high school coaches be among the world’s best?

Is it because most of the world doesn’t have high school volleyball? Or is it because high school coaches are youth coaches, and youth coaches can’t be considered great?

The whole point of Volleyball Coaching Wizards is to bring to light coaches who excel, regardless of level. This doesn’t just mean those at the very highest level.

We cannot make the assumption that just because a coach spends their career at the high school or youth level they couldn’t be just as successful if they coached college, professional, or international level players. Similarly, we can’t assume high level coaches are just as effective coaching younger, less experienced players.

Certainly, there are Wizard coaches who started their careers in the youth or high school ranks and moved up to higher levels. There are also, however, many coaches out there who either through choice or circumstance found themselves in a niche where they thrived and achieved well above average success.

There are WAY more coaches at the lower levels of the game than there are at the top level. Some will work their way up the ladder. Most won’t. Everyone along the spectrum deserves to not only get to understand what those coaching at higher levels than theirs think and do, but also the actions and thoughts of those with great success at their own level.

That is a major point of Volleyball Coaching Wizards.

P.S.: This same person also made the comment “who knows or cares about the authors names – you are not Grisham – yet … keep it small” for one of the other designs. Seems like someone perhaps got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. :-)

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Ryan Mitchell

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

USA coach Ryan Mitchell embrace a philosophy of constantly striving to be better, to move from good to great.

His resume includes:

  • 5 straight Texas high school championships between 2008 and 2012
  • 6 Coach of the Year selections in Texas
  • 2012 NFHS National High School Coach of the Year and AVCA National Coach of the Year finalist
  • Over 400 victories and an 87% win rate in 10 seasons as a head coach
  • Consistently sees his juniors teams, no matter the age, earn Nationals qualifications.

Here’s some of what Ryan discusses in his interview:

– Being a continuous learner

– Developing players as leaders from an early age

– Season training progressions

– Try-out philosophies

– Team-building

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Ryan’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Teri Clemens

A coaching career cut short

USA coach Teri Clemens only had 14 seasons coaching at NCAA Division III Washington University before health reasons forced her retirement after achieving an .873 win percentage (#1 among retired coaches in all the NCAA). Teri’s energy and enthusiasm are obvious in her interview.

Her resume includes:

  • Seven NCAA Division III National Championships, including six in a row
  • Over 500 NCAA career victories
  • 3-Time AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year
  • AVCA Hall of Fame inductee
  • Winner of 3 straight Missouri state high school championships before moving to the college ranks.
  • Author of Get With It Girls! Life is Competition.

Here’s some of what Teri discusses in his interview:

– Creating a competitive environment

– Developing strong servers

– Season training progressions

– What she looked for in the recruiting process

– Team-building

– The differences in why men and women play sports

– Goal setting

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Teri’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Bob Schneck

Life decisions and coaching

USA coach Bob Schneck spent his entire 35 year college coaching career at the University of Rhode Island. In the early days he had the unfortunate situation of having to face Penn State in conference each year, resulting in him accumulating a lot of second place finishes. Along the way, though, he did manage to get little URI into the national rankings.

His resume includes:

  • Over 600 NCAA Division I victories
  • Coached 32 All-Conference performers, 6 conference Freshmen of the Year, and 2 conference Players of the Year.
  • NCAA District I Coach of the Year twice
  • Long-time member of the USA Volleyball CAP cadre
  • Outstanding high school coaching record before moving to college.

Here’s some of what Bob discusses in his interview:

– The off-court demands of college coaching

– Work/life balance

– Assistant coach development

– Program building

– Recruiting foreign players

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Bob’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Volleyball Coaching Wizard Tom Turco

Coaching the mental at least as much as the physical

USA high school coach is a legend in New England volleyball circles. A major part of his success he attributes to the mental, off-court training he has been doing with each of his teams going back 20 years. It seems to be working pretty well!

His resume includes:

  • 17 Massachusetts state high school championships
  • 110 match winning streak from 2003 to 2007.
  • 2008 AVCA National Coach of the Year.
  • 2012 NHSCA National Volleyball Coach of the Year

Here’s some of what Tom discusses in his interview:

– Tryouts and making cuts

– Focusing on the mental part of the game

– Staff management

– Working with your administration

– Creating a culture

Play this excerpt for a taste of the sort of insights and ideas you’ll get from the full interview:

Get access to Tom’s interview now for just a $14 contribution to the Volleyball Coaching Wizards project.










Note: PayPal is used to process the payment, but a PayPal account is not required.

 

Three more Wizards commitments

This set of new additions to the ranks of committed Wizards includes two of New England’s most highly respected collegiate coaches and the winningest high school coach in Illinois history.

Joel Dearing (USA)
As coach of the Springfield College women for 30 years, Joel ranks in the top 10 in NCAA Division III victories with over 700.  He also coached the men’s team from 1990 to 1996, and in his last season lead the program to a final #1 national ranking. Joel was AVCA Regional Coach of the Year on five occassions and coached 10 All-Americans. He is a member of the USA Volleyball CAP Cadre, has run clinics internationally, and has authored two books – Volleyball Fundamentals (2003), and William G. Morgan – Inventor of Volleyball (2007).

Peg Kopec (USA)
bio pending

Bob Schneck (USA)
As head coach at the University of Rhode Island for 35 seasons, Bob has amassed nearly 600 victories. His teams have won 3 Atlantic-10 tournament titles and have made 11 trips to the finals. His 1985 team achieved a Top-25 national ranking and was the only A-10 team to beat Penn State during the latter’s tenure in the conference. Bob’s 1995 team reached the semifinals of the NIT and he was NCAA District I Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1996. As a member of the USA Volleyball CAP cadre, Bob has a long record of working in coaching education and to help grow and develop volleyball in the New England region – including helping to organize and host the 1984 National Junior Olympic championships. All of this followed a highly successful high school coaching career in Pennsylvania where one of his highlights was beating Mick Haley’s Kellogg CC team.

Two more interview commitments for the list

Here’s today’s pair of new Wizard interview commitments.

Sue Gozansky (USA)
A member of the 2006 AVCA Hall of Fame induction class, Sue travels the world as an FIVB coaching course instructor, as well as being a member of the USAV CAP Cadre and author of a pair of books. She made her name in coaching by leading the UC-Riverside program for nearly 40 years. During that span she won nearly 700 matches and two NCAA Division II titles and an AIAW Small College Championship. Her teams had an NCAA-record streak of 20 straight playoff appearances. She has coached at the Olympic Sports Festival as well as the USA Women’s “B” volleyball team consisting of players being considered for roster spots on the National Team and was men’s and women’s coach for the quadrennial Maccabiah Games (Jewish Olympics) in Israel in 1981, 1985, 1989 and 1993.

Stephen Pierce (USA)
As coach of Eden High School for 27 years, Stephen is the winningest coach in New York state history with over 900 victories. Under his stewardship, Eden has won 11 state titles. By comparison, the next highest championship count for any school is 6. His teams have ranked as high as #16 nationally. Stephen was named 2010 Prepvolleyball.com National Volleyball High School Co-Coach of the year. He has also coached extensively at the Juniors level and has trained numerous players who went on to play NCAA Division I and II volleyball.

Adding to the high school group

A trio of high school coaches have been recommended to us over the last couple of day.s

Issac Owens has coached the boys team at Esperanza high school for 13 years, leading the program to four CIF titles (2002, 2007, 2013 and 2014).The Aztecs were selected the national team of the year by Volleyball Magazine in 2007. They were also state team of the year. His overall record is 281-115. His teams have gone undefeated in the Century League for previous four seasons (48-0). Owens recently resigned from the boys’ team, but will continue to coach the girls.

Stephen Pierce has coached the Eden High School team for 27 years and recently became the winningest coach in New York history with over 900 victories and 11 state championships (also a state record). His team has been ranked as high as #16 nationally. He was the Prepvolleyball.com 2010 National Volleyball High School Co-Coach of the Year.

Eric Sullivan is currently the coach at Marquette University High School. He took over seven years ago and in that time has won the state championship 5 times. He has produced multiple All State awards averaging more than 1 every year (I count 10 not including 2010 because I cannot find it). Sully also had a string of successes as the North Shore (now just Milwaukee) 18s coach, finishing in gold multiple times in a row and sending many to college. It’s also worth noting that his Marquette team had Conrad Kaminski and Peter Hutz on the floor at last years national championship.

 

The initial group of confirmed interviewees

We are starting to lock in our Volleyball Coaching Wizards nominees for interviews. Requests have begun to go out, with positive responses already coming back from some of those we’ve contacted so far. Here’s the beginnings of the list.

Iradge Ahrabi-Fard
A member of the original AVCA Hall of Fame induction class in 2003, Iradge coached for 19 years at the University of Northern Iowa. During that time he compiled a record of 503-142 (.780) and recorded at least 20 victories in 17 of 19 years. After guiding the Panthers to a 31-1 record in 1999, and eventually reaching the NCAA Division I Tournament Sweet 16, he was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year and received the inaugural AVCA Excellence in Education Award. In 1997, he took a leave of absence to serve as a consultant for USA Volleyball and the development of its teams.

Mark Lebedew (Australia)
Yes, he’s one of the principles on the project. He has also, however, been nominated for inclusion by multiple coaches outside the project. One notably said, “…there are 3 coaches I’ve never met who I feel I’ve learned more from than any coach I HAVE met. Mark is one of them.” Mark’s coaching bio is listed here.

Jenny McDowell (USA)
As head coach at Emory University (NCAA Division III) since 1996, Jenny has amassed over 600 wins and her players have earned over 40 All-American selections, including two National Player of the Year awards. Her teams have reached the NCAA tournament 18 years in a row, making the round of 16 on 15 occasions, with four trips to the Final Four resulting in a national championship and a runner-up.

Tom Turco (USA)
As head coach of Barnstable High School for 27 seasons, Tom has won 16 Massachusetts Division 1 state titles. From 2003 to 2007 his teams won a record 110 consecutive matches. Since 1995, Barnstable has had 10 undefeated seasons and amassed a 455-18 overall record. Tom’s players have included 4 Prepvolleyball.com All Americans, 1 AVCA All American, and 7 Massachusetts Gatorade Players of the Year. He was selected as 2008 AVCA National Coach of the Year and the 2012 NHSCA National Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Simon Loftus (Scotland)
As the head coach and director of volleyball at Leeds Met University, Simon was at the core of the dominant UK university program. From 2007 to 2012 his men’s and women’s teams combined for six BUCS (the UK equivalent to the NCAA) national championships and five Volleyball England Student Cup titles. His women’s team had a three year undefeated run during that span. Overlapping with his time at Leeds Met, Simon was also the head coach of the Scottish Men’s National Team, leading them to the 2012 Novotel Cup which was the nation’s first-ever international championship.