Gwen Egbert has always dreamed of coaching volleyball at the college level.
Doane is giving her that chance.
The Tigers said Friday that the highly successful high school coach will replace Cindy Meyer, who announced her retirement at the end of the 2012 season.
“I thought this was a good fit for me,” Egbert said.
Egbert, who recently stepped down at Papillion-La Vista South, said she liked the campus of the NAIA school in Crete, Neb., and the players.
She found an opportunity where she could also continue to coach club volleyball and develop high school athletes. Plus, she didn’t want the travel associated with the Division I and Division II levels.
Egbert will inherit a successful program. Meyer was 664-314 in 26 years, and led Doane to nine NAIA national tournaments, including four in the past five years. Under Meyer, the Tigers had only five seasons when they did not have 20-plus wins.
Egbert is not deterred that she’s never seen a Great Plains Athletic Conference match. She said she started her coaching career with one season at the College of St. Mary in the 1980s before moving to the high school ranks.
“Volleyball is volleyball,” she said.
Egbert brings a decorated résumé to Doane following an outstanding career at Papillion-La Vista and Papillion-La Vista South.
She guided the Monarchs to eight Class A state championship matches and won three consecutive state titles from 2000 through 2002.
Following that third state title, she left for Papio South. The Titans were state runners-up in 2008 and 2009 before winning three consecutive Class A crowns.
Her teams went 119-1 during the past three seasons, losing only to nationally ranked Assumption, Ky., this past fall.
“I have worked very hard over 26 years to develop high school athletes to the next level,” said Egbert, who won 684 matches as a high school coach. “Getting the opportunity to actually work in the college setting is something I am looking forward to and Doane has proven over the years to be a quality institution and a top NAIA volleyball program.”
Egbert, 52, said that though she’ll finish the teaching year at Papio South, she’s already at work on her new team.
“My first priority is to try to develop volleyball at Doane,” she said. “I’m working on a spring practice schedule. I’m trying to get a weight program put together and figure out the goals for the team and the individuals.”
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