GONZALES — The Gonzales ISD athletic program announced softball head coach Sam White as the Lady Apaches new head volleyball coach for the upcoming season. The newly named head coach will pull double duty throughout the year as head coach for both the softball and volleyball programs.
“I’ll be starting my fifth year in softball and my fifth year in the volleyball program,” White said, “only thing different is now moving into the head seat, the challenge of being the head coach now in volleyball.”
Consistency is key to a program. Too many new head coaches can cause issues such as lack of motivation or enthusiasm, White noted. Although his title will change from assistant to head coach, White already has a great relationship with the athletes and he believes this will keep the momentum moving forward.
“The girls in volleyball don’t play softball, so I only [Alyssa] got DeLuna and Shelby Davis who play both,” White said. “It’s a whole different group of girls. The fact that I’ve been here four years at the high school — with the senior class having been with me as freshmen — I think will build the momentum and create the relationship that we need in order to move the program farther and forward. I guess that’s why [Gonzales Athletic Director] Coach [Kodi] Crane and [girls athletic director] Coach [Cully] Doyle felt that it would be a good fit.”
Fans of the Lady Apaches volleyball team should anticipate a few changes offensively, though not as much as you would think with a new head coach.
“There will be some system changes hopefully,” White admitted, “I want to run a quicker offense than maybe what we’ve done in the past. The past we just kind of shoot those real high balls, but I want to run more, try to implement some quicker paced attacks.
“There won’t be a whole lot of changes as far as like defensively and that kind of stuff.”
Changes will depend on the personnel, which will be evaluated in the coming weeks.
The biggest change White hopes to bring is a “confident culture” that he feels the softball program has.
“I think I will bring the excitement, the enthusiasm, the energy as a coach that is seen on the softball field now into the gymnasium,” White said.
“The winning and the losing record will take care of itself,” he added. “But we want to be able to bring that confident culture to volleyball. That will be a huge thing.”
White will continue to coach the softball program as well, noting that he’s readying his body and mind to take on the tough task of being in charge of two teams.
“Just this summer I committed to losing some weight,” he said. “I lost 20 pounds already since graduation day. I got 10 more pounds to go before volleyball season. I just want to be in better shape.
“In order to take two head coaching jobs I needed to be in shape mentally and physically. I got to prepare myself mentally and physically to take care of both of these positions in order to make an impact. I think I want to bring that same challenge to the volleyball girls. Be in shape. Play with purpose. Play with passion. And see what happens.”
White also noted that the experience and knowledge he gained coaching under previous head coaches Kim Payne, Sarah Kennedy and Bernice Voight will be of value to the team.
“I feel quite fortunate for the previous coaches and the knowledge and the experience and the trust that they gave me over the past six years because I’m going to add Coach Payne in there, she left Gonzales then went to Nixon, and I was the JV coach over there. I value deeply the experience that she gave, that Coach Kennedy gave and Coach Voigt gave and the foundations that they laid at this program so that I can build on those foundations,” he said.