Newly appointed Snow Canyon volleyball coach Ryan Rarick has some big shoes to fill.
With former SC head coach Alaina Parker, now retired after a runner-up finish in the state championship in October, Rarick now faces the challenge of keeping the legendary program up to expectations.
Parker, who transformed the Warrior volleyball program into one of the most dominant programs in the state over the last decade, decided to hang it up so she could spend more time with her family, which opened the opportunity for Rarick.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Rarick said. “Coach Parker has built a huge foundation, and I’m looking forward to building off of that and keeping it going.”
Rarick was the freshman head coach and varsity assistant on the volleyball team last year. He’s also an assistant coach on the Snow Canyon varsity girls basketball team.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Rarick said about his current basketball position. “I love working with the basketball team and Coach Roden. The plan is to continue to do both, but the opportunity was too big to pass up.”
With several players already on both the volleyball and basketball teams, Rarick said he hopes he can help recruit several more to come over and play volleyball next season.
“Some parents and coaches think that athletes should concentrate on just one sport, but I don’t feel that way and believe there are benefits from playing multiple sports,” Rarick said. “We’ve already had a number of players (Shaylee Reed, Nikenna Durante and Madison Mooring, among others) have a lot of success playing other sports and we want to continue that.”
While some high school athletes shy away from participating in other sports due to their coaches, Rarick said he believes he is in a position of strength going forward.
“Because I’ve been involved with volleyball and basketball, I believe that will be an asset for me because some girls might not come out unless they get the OK from their coach to come and play,” Rarick said. “Since I know most of them, that’s going to make the situation a lot easier.”
Despite wanting to be the head coach, Rarick noted that he was intimidated when he applied for the position.
“Knowing how successful Coach Parker was definitely made it intimidating for me,” Rarick said. “Those are big shoes to fill and I almost didn’t even apply. But then I was reminded of what Coach Parker taught the girls about ‘failing forward.’ That means giving it your best effort and taking steps to get better every single day. She always told the kids that and that really hit me. How can I tell the kids to do that if I’m not doing that?”
So after more than a four-month process, Rarick was recently named SC’s new head volleyball coach. And while Parker may be gone, her emphasis on the fundamentals won’t be forgotten.
“Coach Parker really emphasized the fundamentals, and that is something that we’ll continue. She made sure everyone knew how to play each position, and that’s huge when somebody gets hurt or is sick and the next girl comes in and steps up,” Rarick said.
Those fundamentals helped the Warriors upset a very talented Bishop Gorman squad who come into The Jungle and lost a five-set heartbreaker to Snow Canyon this past season.
“Bishop Gorman had some amazing athletes, but we ended up winning the match not because we were necessarily better athletes, but because the fundamentals came into play and the girls were always in the right spots and made big plays,” he said.
Rarick started in volleyball when he took classes from Parker’s husband, Jeff, who taught classes at Dixie State while also the head coach at DSU.
“It’s funny how it all worked out,” Rarick said. “I’ve learned so much from them and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue to teach those principles and philosophies of not only winning games, but being professional in everything that you do.”