Sports

Pugh steps down as SK volleyball coach

"Mary Pugh is stepping down as the South Kitsap High School volleyball coach after 16 seasons.Pugh said the decision was based on spending more time with her family and having a new coach come in and build a volleyball program.Though volleyball hasn't been a tradition-rich program like football, baseball, and track and field, Pugh's biggest success came the last three seasons.In 1999 SK advanced to the the West Central District tournament for the first time and repeated the feat in 2000.But the biggest highlight came last fall when the Wolves advanced to the 4A state tournament in Spokane.Pugh said ending her coaching duties will allow her to spend more time watching her teenaged children, Beau and Shea, play sports at SK.There's a lot of time involved (with coaching), Pugh said. I have three more years to watch my kids, and I'd like to have the time to do it. Beau played football last year and I didn't get to see him play.The participation in club volleyball has increasingly made the sport more competitive amongst high school players seeking college scholarships.Pugh said she thinks bringing in a coach who has more experience should help build up the volleyball program.I love volleyball, but kids today need somebody who has experience at a college level, Pugh said. It's tough to give up something you've done for so long and enjoy. The toughest part (of leaving) is the connection with the kids.Steve Reischman, SK's athletic director, said the job has been posted and will soon appear on websites.Reischman said it is tough to speculate when a new coach would be hired, but he said the school district is hiring sooner rather than later.Because of the shortage of teachers in the state Reischman said job openings need to be filled as soon as possible to avoid any crises.Interviews will be conducted as soon as someone steps forward with interest, Reischman said, but the individual will be hired as a teacher first and volleyball coach second.There is a flux of teaching positions at the high school, including lanugage arts and social studies, Reischman said. He said the hiring of a coach doesn't have to be a teacher but it is preferred.We really prefer a teacher, Reischman said. Teachers make very good coaches. A teacher can also keep better track of their players and build better relationships.Pugh said she will not be involved in the search process.I just told (Reischman) it would be nice to have someone who has played at the college level, Pugh said. I also said I think it would be nice if the coach were a woman. There's not enough female coaches and I think it's important for girls. "

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