At the end of the 2017 volleyball season, Hallie Monroe decided to resign as the LaMoille-Ohio coach because she was pregnant for the first time and didn’t know what to expect with the next chapter of her life.
After 14 months of developing a routine with her daughter Harper and hearing Mendota was looking for a replacement after John Holzman resigned in May, Monroe is ready to return to the sideline.
Monroe was officially hired to become the next Lady Spikers coach at Tuesday’s MHS school board meeting.
“I’m excited. While it is bigger, it’s still volleyball. I do plan to conduct the team the same way I did at LaMoille,” said Monroe, who led the Lady Lions in Class 1A, while Mendota will be in 2A after spending seven seasons in 3A. Obviously, we’re going to be up against better opponents, but I think as long as we can execute what you need to execute in volleyball, it can work at any class if you’re doing it right.
“I think there is a great group of girls at Mendota. Not only do they seem like great girls, but they have some volleyball talent as well. I don’t think anything is going to be handed to us at 2A, but I’m really hopeful the girls can see some success moving down a class. I’m ready. A month ago this wasn’t on the radar. I’m trying to get back into the groove of things. We’ll head up to Sterling in July for summer league. I look forward to that time to get to know the girls before we open the season.”
Monroe, 28, graduated from LaMoille in 2009, took over the volleyball program at 19 years old in 2010, coached the Lady Lions for eight seasons (2010-17) and won back-to-back regional titles during her last two years at L-O.
Mendota athletic director Steve Hanson was not only impressed with her body of work at LaMoille, but with the way she presented herself and the direction she plans to lead the Lady Spikers.
“Her experience aside, I was really impressed with her approach and her plan,” Hanson said. “I feel like she’s confident. She knows how to win, she’s won before and she’s going to have very high expectations for the program which we were very intrigued by. She has taken a program at a very young age and turned it into a very solid program.
“I think she’s very knowledgeable about the game and I think she’s going to bring a winning presence. Her expectations are going to be really high and she is going to hold the kids accountable in a positive way. She’s very positive. I talked to her a few times and I think she’s really competitive. I think that’s what we need. We’re excited to have her.”
Hanson said MHS didn’t receive too many resumes for the volleyball coaching position, but Monroe was clearly the top candidate as soon as she threw her name in the hat.
Before hearing about the Lady Spikers’ opening, Monroe was contacted about a few assistant volleyball coaching opportunities but turned them down because they were not in easily accessible locations.
Monroe, who lives in Princeton and works in Mendota, was looking for a position on her path if she was going to return to coaching.
The Lady Spikers fit into Monroe’s available GPS coordinates.
“I work in Mendota (as a nurse) for the elementary district so it’s close by me,” Monroe said. “As far as working goes, I’m already over there in the daytime. It felt like it’s the right timing and the right program. I wanted to get back to coaching at some point in my life. I didn’t think it would be this soon, but I do think it’s the right fit.”
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.