By Marty Gordon
Eastern Montgomery High School athletic director Kirk Lytton has announced that Haley Duncan is the school’s new volleyball head coach.
Duncan is a former player at Auburn High School who has served as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She is currently the head coach of the 17U Gold Roanoke Valley Junior Volleyball Club team.
“I applied for this job because I have a huge passion for this game and teaching what I know to others who have a heart for it.,” Duncan said. “I wasn’t looking for a coaching job when I stumbled upon this opening. When I saw it, I remembered all of the positive feedback and encouragement I have received over the past few years while assisting and felt confident that I could benefit the program with my knowledge, experience and love of the game.”
Duncan started playing volleyball in seventh grade, rising through the Auburn program. Her junior and senior year, the team went deep into the postseason, falling just short of a state championship.
In 2017, she started helping with travel ball and ended up coaching a team individually for two years.
“I have had a lot of success with the travel team, winning multiple tournaments and then being able to see the girls I worked with for a couple years put the work to the test in a state championship match in November 2019 and win the 1A State Championship (at Auburn),” she said.
Duncan takes over a program that has not won more than seven games in a season in the past 10 years.
Her biggest goal for this year is to build a solid foundation at all levels of the program.
“I want to see the same fundamentals, terminology and team bonding methods being taught across the board,” Duncan said. “This type of stability builds a program‘s strength over the years. The athleticism is there. We need to hone in on the strengths of each player and teach the players that with lots of focus, self-discipline, hard work and determination comes success. I will pass along to them my knowledge of the skills they need as well as my love for the game.”