Reed volleyball players have known for several weeks they will start next fall with their third coach in three years. On Tuesday morning, they found out who that coach will be.
Athletic Director Ryan Sims named Amy Morris, 31, the successor to James Crane, who stepped down in the offseason after coaching the Raiders to a 5-21, 4-12 season.
“I’m super excited,” Morris said over the phone Tuesday morning.
Morris has nearly a decade of collegiate coaching experience (including Nevada, Tulane, Binghamton and Nicholls State). She has spent the last three years as the recruiting coordinator at Northern Nevada Junior Volleyball Club.
The youth volleyball organization on Gregg Street in Sparks fields a variety of club teams and camps for kids as young as 3 and as old 18. In her time at NNJ, Morris has gotten to know many of the players on the Raiders’ roster, which will smooth the transition, she said. It also factored in her decision to apply for the position.
“I know a lot of the current players already, as well as a lot of the kids that are coming in,” Morris said. “I feel like we’re going to be able to build the program up pretty quickly. I think we’re in a good position.
“It’s just such a great group of kids. I know they’re going to work hard. I know they’re going to do well academically … I like the whole set up going in.”
Morris had a timeline for how to start building her program in place when she interviewed for the job last week. She will meet with the team for the first time after the weekend. The timeline is borrowed, however. She helped mold a similar plan for her husband, Nathan Hallett, who took over the Damonte Ranch program in December.
Her envisioned framework for the program is not complicated. Convince the players to buy in. Produce results. Advance to the postseason.
“When you’re building a program, if they feel like they’re not getting better or they’re not building to something, then you’re going to lose them halfway through the season,” Morris said. “We’re fortunate the side we’re on (High Desert League), that it’s not as tough (as the Sierra League). It’s still going to be tough.
“Lay the ground work. Go the playoffs. Start the building process of what we’re trying to do and really set the tone.”
The Morris era (at least in league play) will officially commence with a home match Tuesday, Sept. 6. Call it coincidence. Or call it ironic. But standing on the opposite bench will be the Morris’ husband and the Mustangs of Damonte Ranch.
Said Morris: “I think it’s just a matter of making sure Reed wins so everything is good at the house.”