Special Announcement – Coaching Staff Change

As you may know, Coach Julie McDougall was part of the Olympia Volleyball staff on two previous occasions. It was that experience, and our personal history, that made her the perfect fit to fill our need for a C team coach this last season. As much as we’d love her to continue in that role, her family “calls” and we must move forward. I will be forever grateful to Julie for “stepping up” and for her sacrifice away from her family, this fall. Please know that we will continue to see Julie around the gym, whether back at the score table or looking after soon-to-be-born…Krew Beattie!!!

That being said, I am thrilled to announce that we have hired a new coach, Nyra Gallardo. Nyra comes to us from Vancouver, WA, where she has been teaching 5th grade and coaching varsity volleyball at Hudson’s Bay HS. Nyra will be moving to Olympia this summer and taking a position at Evergreen Forest Elementary, in the North Thurston SD. Welcome, Nyra! I am excited for you to get to know her! She WILL be coaching at the Oly-Capital Volleyball Camp at the end of June.

This past weekend, Coach Leah, myself, Tiana, and Nyra were ALL able to spend three days attending the Gold Medal Coaching Clinic at the University of Washington. Although I’ve attended several times, there are always so many things to learn. The clinic staff are literally some of the best coaches in the country and (even) the world. The likes of Marv Dunphy (former USA Mens’ coach and recent consultant with the USA women); Rob Browning – St. Mary’s; Brent Crouch – Univ. of Portland; Keegan Cook – Univ. of Washington; Chris McGown – former BYU men’s coach; and finally, Courtney Thompson – former Kentlake, UW and USA setter (& two-time Olympic medalist!) were all incredibly knowledgeable and transparent about their successes and challenges and contributed to an outstanding experience. Just so you know, GMS shares their foundation of methods based on principles from the science of motor learning, data, research, statistical analysis and peer review. There is nothing I’ve found, in 40 years of coaching, that comes close to what they do.

The Olympia Coaching staff is grateful for this opportunity and it was awesome to share the time learning and doing some staff bonding. One of the cool things the four of us did was to gather for lunch on Sunday with Coach T. (Katie Turcotte – former Oly JV coach & current Capital coach) and her JV coach – Aaron Riddell. We were joined by Courtney Thompson and chatted about a variety of topics, including her recent first-ever Boston Marathon race. Afterwards, Nyra played a little pepper with Courtney and then scrimmaged until the final session started!

It was a memorable weekend. Here is our post-lunch group photo with Courtney. For those who are new to the program…front row (left to right): Tiana, Coach T.; back row (left to right): Coach Leah, Coach Creighton, Courtney Thompson, Coach Nyra Gallardo, Coach Aaron.


Thanks for taking time to read about staff changes and our clinic news! We are psyched about the summer and the season!

-Coach Creighton