Beth Etchison knows what it’s like to step away from coaching for family.
She did that more than a decade ago when her first son was born. Now she’ll step into a void created by a similar situation.
Etchison was confirmed Monday night as the next coach of the Daleville volleyball program, taking over for Justin Richman. He built the program up to respectability in five seasons, but stepped aside in anticipation of the birth of his family’s first child.
Etchison heard about the opening during basketball season and it drew her interest after a long hiatus from coaching.
“This seems like the job that I wanted,” Etchison said. “I’ve been following the Daleville volleyball program, their development. Have really, really athletic girls, great girls.
“They all have fantastic attitudes and I’m really excited to get started.”
She met with her new team Tuesday, and she has connections to Daleville because her two sons attend school there. She currently works for Anderson Community Schools, and Broncos athletic director Eric Douglas said it’s not yet clear if she’ll take a position in the Daleville district.
And despite holding her last coaching job in 2000, Etchison boasts a varied resume.
In 1992 she finished up a playing career that started at St. Francis in Fort Wayne and ended as a team MVP and record-holder at Anderson University.
She coached the men’s club volleyball team at Anderson for a year, spent a year coaching Madison High School in Ohio and had several seasons coaching soccer when she moved to Georgia (volleyball was not offered in her district).
In 1998 she returned to her alma mater and spent two seasons as a college assistant at Anderson for Ed Allen, her college coach who is now the head man at Alabama.
Douglas said she impressed the school board with her leadership ability
“Any time you have change, there’s always some people wondering how it’s going to affect them,” Douglas said. “The administrators here were excited. We felt really strongly about her being about to do a great job.”
Etchison said her vision for the program involved strengthening it at every level. Richman improved the varsity team (35-26 his last two seasons), leaving the cupboard full at the junior high level, and Etchison wants to build on that foundation.
That means getting students as young as kindergarten interested in the sport to go from the bottom up, but she also wants her players to participate in multiple sports (she was a three-sport athlete in high school).
That plan reflects her outlook as she makes her return to the coaching ranks.
“I’m in it for the long term,” Etchison said. “I want to build around the athletes we have now, but I also want to bring other girls in that have stepped away from (volleyball). I really want to increase the numbers, especially at the junior-high level.”
Shenandoah is in the market for a new volleyball coach following the departure of Adam Leach after 12 years with the program. He finished with a 226-140 record and three sectional titles. He went 15-19 last season.
Raiders athletic director Todd Salkoski will be accepting letters of interest and resumes at the school. In an email, he said there will be no teaching position attached to the job.