Hutchinson Community College head volleyball coach Sarah Myers announced her resignation to the HCC Board of Trustees on Thursday night.
Myers is relocating with her husband, William, an HCC employee who accepted another position of employment out of state.
“It’s a bittersweet move,” Myers said. “I’m excited for our family and proud of Will for the opportunity before him, but it will be sad to leave the girls.
“They are another family that I have. We always talk about being family and I would love to pack them up and take them with me.”
A former all-Jayhawk Conference player who helped build the foundation for four Jayhawk West championships, five regional championships and five Top 10 NJCAA Tournament national placings, Myers was an assistant coach with HCC for three years before being hired as the program’s 11th head coach in the summer of 2010.
The 2010 season was trying for Myers and her program. Injuries depleted an already small roster. HCC posted a 6-29 record, but rarely did the Lady Dragons get blown out in a match. In fact, the 2010 Lady Dragons posted a five-set victory over eventual Region VI champion Barton Community College in a regular-season meeting at the Sports Arena.
Year No. 2 brought a renewed promise for the Lady Dragons, although the early returns through September didn’t show how far Myers had brought the program.
HCC was 6-15 at the end of September, but a three-set victory at Hesston College sparked the Lady Dragons to an October surge.
HCC went 9-5 for the remainder of the regular season. The Lady Dragons finished tied for third in the Jayhawk West with a 9-5 record, which earned a home regional first-round match. HCC won that match over Dodge City and rallied from two sets down to eliminate Colby at the Region VI Tournament in Wichita.
Hutchinson finished the 2011 season 16-23, completing a 10-win improvement over the previous season.
“We were predominantly freshman last season,” Myers said of her 2011 team. “We were extremely hard on them in the preseason and we pushed them past their comfort zone. It took awhile to get them on the same page. Once we got them there, they started to see success.
“It’s the best feeling for a coach when you see your team come together like that.”
Myers coached four all-conference players in her two seasons as head coach. Shayne Haley was a first-team selection and Cassie Wiley was a second-team pick in 2011. Jordan Rehm and Chelsea Marquette were second-team and honorable mention selections, respectively, on the 2010 all-Jayhawk West team.
In her three years as a Lady Dragon assistant, Myers helped guide Hutchinson to two Region VI championships and one Jayhawk West championship. The 2008 Lady Dragons finished 10th in the NJCAA Tournament and the 2009 Lady Dragons won three straight matches to finish ninth at the national tournament.
HCC went 88-43 in Myers’ three years as an assistant, including 29-3 in Jayhawk West matches.
Known as Sarah Smith in her playing days, Myers was considered by former HCC head coach Ronda Shirley as the first major signing for the reclamation project of the HCC volleyball program. Before Myers’ arrival at HCC in 1999, the Lady Dragons hadn’t had a winning season in seven years.
Myers helped HCC snap that skid right away, leading the Lady Dragons to a 28-18 record and a fifth-place finish in the Jayhawk West in her freshman season. As an outside hitter, Myers averaged nearly three kills per game and earned first-team All-Region VI honors.
The 2000 season was a breakthrough year for HCC volleyball and Myers was once again right in the middle of it. Myers earned first-team All-Jayhawk West and first-team All-Region honors as Hutchinson exploded for a 37-13 record and a third-place finish in the Jayhawk West. HCC earned tournament championships at Hesston College and Independence and Myers was chosen all-tournament in both events.
“We wish Sarah and her family nothing but success,” HCC athletic director Randy Stange said. “Sarah took over the program in a very trying time for all. She works hard for her players and the program made strides this past season. Thanks to Sarah for all the contributions she made to the Hutchinson volleyball program as a player and coach.”
Stange said a nationwide search for Myers’ replacement will begin immediately.
(HCC Sports Information)