The Patterson High girls volleyball program will once again see a new face at the head coaching spot this fall.
Former Creekside Middle School volleyball coach Dana Williams will step up to take over as varsity head coach for the Tigers.
“I am excited and feel honored to be entrusted with this volleyball program. I take it very seriously and have a legendary volleyball coach to look up to and gain insight from, my mom (Norma Hammons). I also have a very experienced and knowledgeable staff of coaches to help me revive this program and give volleyball in Patterson a better name,” head coach Dana Williams said via email.
She explained that she expressed her interest in applying to help the volleyball program, and after a screening process and interview with athletic director Rob Cozart, was selected to lead the Patterson High girls volleyball program.
Cozart explained that finding a candidate willing to take on the program as head coach was a tricky endeavor.
“The process included a lot of interested applicants that wanted to “help out” in some way, but no one really stepped up and said they wanted to run the program,” Cozart said. “I had corresponded with coach Williams in the past over a span of a couple years, so when we were getting down to crunch time, I asked her if she’d be willing to be in charge and not just assist. Thankfully, she accepted the challenge and it’s already been a great first week for all the girls trying out and competing. She’s put together a great staff and we are looking forward to an awesome year for PHS and the Lady Tigers volleyball.”
New coaches has been a pattern for the girls volleyball program that has seen five different coaches in six years.
During those six years the team has posted a sub .500 record every year, except for the 2017 season under Marci McCleery when the team went 17-13.
Williams is not necessarily concerned with getting results right out the gate.
“My goal is more long term than just one season. It’s not really about win-loss records to me. It’s a competitive division with some strong teams. My goal is to bring some life into our volleyball program. I want the girls to learn, develop their skills, experience a true team atmosphere and enjoy the amazing sport of volleyball,” Williams said. “I have chosen some great coaches who are committed and passionate about helping develop a stronger program overall. Not just this year, but in years to come. I also have aspirations to put together a local club or at the very least some strong summer camp opportunities.”
Williams and her staff will have to jump right in to start 2019. Not blessed with a year of foresight and preparation, the program will have to quickly ramp up for their first match on Aug. 24 versus Hilmar High at the Orestimba Tournament. Patterson will also play Summerville and Franklin High out of Stockton on that same day.
Williams is optimistic her team will be ready when the time comes.
“My objective is to select a strong team of athletes who are willing to give their all on the court. I’m looking for not only athletic ability but coachable team players. A lot of these girls do other sports , some play club volleyball and many have done camps or other activities over the summer so I am confident we will be ready for the first match,” Wililams said.
Volleyball has been a part of her life since her childhood. Williams explained that she was raised with a sand volleyball court in her backyard. Volleyball was a piece of her family life, and not only is playing a family tradition but also coaching.
“My parents both play as does my brother so we are a true volleyball family. I played through my junior high, high school and college years including playing for South Valley Volleyball club which my mom ran for over a decade,” Williams said.
Patterson will play seven matches on the road before returning to Dave Klein Gymnasium for their first home match against Merced High for their second scheduled game in the Central California Conference. Patterson will then follow up by hosting Ceres High for a non-league match on Sept. 16.