Clippers want Coach Garey back for round 2

Posted: April 14, 2009

Tabitha Garey records stats
during a match.
Thanks to the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program, Tabitha Garey (College ’07) helped lead the Clipper Women’s volleyball team to some long overdue success this season. Now, they’re waiting with bated breath—if the grant comes through again, Garey will be back in the fall for another round.

Garey played four years of Clipper volleyball before graduating in April 2007, and she went on to work with a high school girls’ team and a U-16 club team. “I just fell in love with the girls,” she says.

She approached head coach Nolan Weinmaster that fall, saying she wanted to help the Clipper Women’s volleyball team however she could.

“I wanted to give Tabitha an opportunity to give back to the program that she played for and also give her an opportunity to develop as a coach,” says Weinmaster. Fortunately, the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program made that possible by providing the funds through a grant.

It paid off—literally. “We’ve had more success this year than in the past several, and Tabitha definitely deserves some credit for that,” says Weinmaster. “She has brought energy to our team as well as high expectations for success … Our practices were run more efficiently, and having a higher coach-to-player ratio has given our players more individual attention and opportunities to learn.”

Garey also contributed by recording and compiling statistics during games and practices, which, Weinmaster says, helped him measure the team’s improvement and clarify areas of weakness.

The Clipper Women’s volleyball team won only one match in each of the last two seasons. This season, they won six. They also swept two home weekends (one in each semester) for the first time in four years, and they won their first road match in three years.

The experience was extremely positive for Garey. “I had such a great year working with Nolan [Weinmaster],” she says. “He gave me such a good balance [of] responsibility, feedback, and encouragement. I really feel like I got to contribute to the team’s success in a major way.”

This fall, if all goes according to plan, Garey will be back for a second season. And after that? “I’ll see if I can’t take my coaching experience to the next level and try head coaching somewhere,” she says.