Darcia Koetting knows the Smith-Cotton volleyball team well.
Not only has she been an assistant coach for the Lady Tigers the past three seasons but she helped found and direct the first organized youth volleyball program to serve as a feeder to Smith-Cotton.
Athletic Director Rob Davis announced Tuesday the hiring of Koetting as head volleyball coach.
Koetting has high hopes for the future of S-C volleyball.
“I’d like to see our girls win conference or district,” Koetting said. “We have the girls coming who might be able to do it.”
She replaces Kristin Miller, who resigned after three years because her husband and Smith-Cotton High School Assistant Principal Gavin Miller was named principal at Bernie High School in southeast Missouri.
Under Miller’s direction, the Lady Tigers posted their first winning season in 19 years in 2011. They went 19-8-2 this season.
“I was really pleased with how Kristin ran the program,” Koetting said. “She has a good work ethic. We worked in the offseason and sent the girls to summer leagues and camps.
“We started working on conditioning a couple of years ago. Last year, we really worked hard on increasing their vertical jumps, speed, agility and athleticism.”
Koetting, a 1982 SCHS graduate, remembers when the Lady Tigers were successful and she wants that again for S-C.
“My freshman year was when they went to state,” Koetting said. Both the 1977 and 1978 teams advanced past district play. “Over the years, (the program) seemed to lose interest.”
That’s when Koetting, her husband, Jeff, and other parents decided to do something about it.
“There was something lacking. There was no youth program and not a lot of interest (in volleyball) when my older daughter (Carleigh) played,” Koetting said.
Koetting has coaching experience. She has led club and youth volleyball, softball and basketball in Sedalia for several years. She is on the Sedalia Girls Softball Organization board and has been an elementary teacher in Sedalia since 1990.
“I really enjoyed coaching at the younger level,” Koetting said. “As the girls got older, I’ve learned with the team (by) going to camps. I feel like I have a lot of volleyball knowledge.”
Koetting and her husband have four children, including Courtney, who is a freshman on the team this season.