Search for Mitchell’s replacement begins


Courtesy Photo

After leading the volleyball program to five consecutive state championships, Coach Ryan Mitchell has resigned and the search for a new head coach has begun.

Claire Peralta, Staff Reporter

The search to replace head volleyball coach Ryan Mitchell is underway.

“Right now what we are doing is we are targeting certain individuals and taking applications,” Assistant Athletic Director Kyle Herrema said. “We are targeting individuals who we think would be a good fit for the program.”

Due to his success with the volleyball program, Mitchell will be helping with the process.

“We are using one of the best resources that we have which is Coach Mitchell,” Herrema said. “He knows the quality of coaches in the area, and he certainly is helping us in that direction.”

With five state championships in the last six years, the position is highly coveted with a lot of coaches having shown interest in applying for the job.

“The job was posted on Monday,” Herrema said. “We have already had a tremendous amount of interest in the position. It’s one of the premier jobs in the state of Texas, the tradition of Lovejoy is outstanding. It’s a really desirable job.”

However, getting the position is not an easy process.

“We have a process set in place for head coaches,” Herrema said. “It’s a very rigorous process. We do an athletic phone screen, which takes about 30-45 minutes. Then they come in for an athletic interview, and once the candidates go through that process, they go through an academic phone screen, which takes another 45 minutes or so. After that, they go through the academic interview process, which is known as the round table, which is really quite rigorous. Then if they make it past that stage then there is a committee interview. The final candidates go onto Mr. Moore for the final interview. We feel like the best just rise to the top in that process.”

Next year’s senior volleyball players will be losing the only coach they have had in high school. However, they have high expectations for Mitchell’s replacement.

“I hope that the coach knows what [he’s] doing,” junior volleyball player McKenna Beene said. “I hope that [he] knows the game, and I also want a good balance of strictness, discipline, and fun. I’ll miss the feel of Lovejoy volleyball, because Coach Mitchell started the program, and I hope that the future coach carries on the traditions that we have.”

The first candidates for the job will be coming today, April 10, to face the rigorous process, and Coach Ryan Mitchell himself.

“You know obviously [Mitchell] wants to leave the program in great hands,” Herrema said. “He’s invested so much for the last 8 years that he wants to make sure that somebody here is going to continue the legacy he’s built along with our other players.”