Volleyball coach search update

by Tiara Pajimola

As of last Wednesday, athletic director Aaron Leetch had condensed the candidates for the head volleyball coaching position to three.
Former head coach Steve Rupe resigned after 14 years in January in order to have more time to spend teaching and with his family.

Leetch is responsible for completing the process of filling open positions. Since the group of candidates was established for the volleyball position, three have been invited to campus for interviews.

Leetch explained Whitworth’s coach hiring process that was used in narrowing candidates for the volleyball job.

“When they’re on campus we have a full schedule for them,” Leetch said. “The team will have an opportunity to listen to them and their vision and their plan but then the team will be able to ask them very detailed questions about their vision and their ability to lead the program.”

Rupe’s resignation wasn’t news the women of the team were expecting.

“We found out through an email and I was in shock,” said senior Whitney Santos. “I had no idea he was going to resign and I think we were all caught off guard by it.”

As for spring training, it hasn’t been easy without a coach, Santos said.

“We’re fortunate enough to have our assistant coaches covering that [because] it makes things easier,” Santos said. “We don’t really know what we should be working on. Workouts aren’t set in stone so it’s hard.”

The women will miss Rupe and the way he was as a knowledgeable coach.

“He was really organized. He had a lot of experience and he’s been coaching a long time,” Santos said. “He always had strategic planning and knew about each team. He knows strengths and weaknesses about every player and I think that’s what led him to all of his successes.”

Leetch said the final decision should be made shortly. However, there isn’t an identified date by which the process will be complete.

Contact Tiara Pajimola at tpajimola16@my.whitworth.edu

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