Q: Let’s start at the beginning.  Where were you born?

A: I was born in San Antonio, TX

Q: What was your childhood like?  Were you always playing sports?  Which ones?

A: I grew up on a ranch in south Texas outside of San Antonio. I spent a lot of time with my siblings and cousins and we were all around the same age and lived within a few miles of one another. When we were in a time of year that we weren’t playing an organized sport (we were usually on the same teams) our moms would take turns taking care of us after school. We typically had to stay outside until dinner. We would build forts, play football, basketball or soccer, hunt or ride 4 wheelers until it was time to eat dinner. It was a very active upbringing.

I played CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) sports, for the most part, until I was about 12. I played t-ball then softball, soccer and basketball. I was the only girl on the soccer team until I was 10, then they made me quit even though I was arguably the best player on the team. That’s when I started playing volleyball because that is the sport that the girls played while the boys played soccer. My church didn’t have a volleyball team so my mom helped start one and coached me so I could play.

Q: How did you end up choosing TCU for your undergraduate degree?

A: I wanted to stay in Texas and I wanted to build something special. My freshman year was the first time TCU fielded a volleyball team so it was a unique opportunity to build the foundation of a program.

Q: Did you know when you started college that you wanted to be a coach?

A: Yes … and No. I started coaching for a local club when I was a freshman and loved it, but I was pursuing a business degree. At that time in my life, I was very intrigued with making money, and I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do that as a coach.  Everyone in my life told me that I would be a coach, but I just kept saying that I wouldn’t… it didn’t take me long to get on the path of becoming a coach after being in the business world for a couple of years.

TCU vs Texas A&M Volleyball scrimmage in Fort Worth, Texas on August 19, 2017. (Photo by/Sharon Ellman)

 Q: What do you enjoy most about coaching?

A: Connecting with young people and helping them bring out the best in themselves. Helping them connect with their coaches and teammates to pursue a common goal together.  The relationships you build in this process last a lifetime and provide so many life lessons along the way.

 Q: What are you passionate about personally?

A: Being open-minded and kind to all beings. Always believing anything is possible when you put forth your best effort.

Q: What other coaches do you admire?

A: Coach K, for sustaining a high level of excellence for so long. I don’t know the inner workings of his program, so I can’t speak on that, but what he has done is very difficult to accomplish. Bill Belichick for the same reason.

However, I think I’m more similar to coaches like Joe Maddon (Cubs) or Bruce Arians (AZ Cardinals).  I’ve never met either of them, but everything I read about these guys and watch on TV about them shows/tells that they are very in tune with the human spirit, psychology of people and of sport and pay as much attention, or more, to the human element when making decisions than they do the x’s and o’s.

Q: What is your greatest strength as a leader?

A: Throughout the years I would say my strengths have changed a bit. Currently, I would say I have learned how to be more efficient with my time and manage a large team of people well (players, staff & support staff). It’s important to give each individual time and attention and I am always finding ways to carve out time for each player and staff member to help stay connected to them as a person as well as help guide them in their craft.

Q: Define Success.

A: For me, success is bringing a group of people together and turning them into a tribe; then working together to meet a common goal – something bigger than themselves.

Q: Please leave us with your favorite quote.

A: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
– Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist