ORLANDO, Florida (May 25, 2016) – USA Volleyball presented seven awards during its annual Junior Awards Luncheon on Monday in Orlando, Florida.
Don Burroughs’s career currently spans 24 years of teaching and coaching. While attending The Ohio State University and studying business education, he coached junior high soccer. His first teaching position after graduation had him coaching eighth grade volleyball and varsity basketball for five years in addition to full-time teaching.
Burroughs served as the district technology coordinator and assistant athletic director. It was during this time that a mentor introduced him to club volleyball and the USAV CAP program. After obtaining his CAP Level III certification, he formalized the coaching education department and began the high performance program for the Ohio Valley Region in 2001. These years were also filled with a full schedule of classes to complete his masters of education degree in educational leadership from Wright State University.
For the next 10 years, Burroughs continued to coach volleyball at the high school until he was offered an opportunity to assistant coach at the University of Findlay followed by Bluffton University. During this time he also worked during the summer for the USAV High Performance program in their summer camp programs. In 2005, Burroughs became a USAV National CAP Cadre member and master IMPACT instructor for USA Volleyball and has hosted a number of successful CAP Level I and II clinics for the Ohio Valley Region.
A two-time recipient of the USA Volleyball Robert L. Lindsay Meritorious Service Award, Burroughs continues his study of the art and craft of teaching and coaching as he is currently pursuing certification as a master athletic administrator for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Outstanding Club Director
Meredith Grady enters her 11th year as the 900 Club director after she and her husband Ryan founded 900vb. Over the past 10 seasons, all of their seniors have received college scholarships. They also have placed an emphasis on donating money to charity and community service.
They started a program called Doing 900d (pronounced – Doing Good) – and the 900 families have been involved with local community volunteer opportunities in addition to fundraising for local charities thru 900’s free volleyball clinics. This has helped to stress the importance of being a good person, not just a good volleyball player! Volleyball is temporary, life lessons are PERMANENT.
Grady graduated from Grapevine High School in 1995 where she played Varsity there for three years under Rick Johansen where she received numerous volleyball awards. Grady attended University of Oklahoma and was a four-year starter. She set and still holds numerous OU and Big 12 records in side-out scoring. She was named 1999 NCAA Oklahoma Woman of the Year.
After college Grady moved back to Grapevine and continued to play adult volleyball. She played for the Dallas Cobras’ professional volleyball team.
From 1999-2002 she attended Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas. She was named “Best Intern” out of her graduating class.
In August 2002, Dr. Meredith opened Hands on Health Chiropractic in Grapevine, and she is still practicing there. She is one of the few chiropractors in the area to offer True Spinal Decompression on the DRX 9000C.
Grady gives free seminars for parents and players on “How to be Recruited”- A Pro-Active Approach to the Recruiting Process. She is CAP I certified (2009) & was IMPACT certified in 1997.
Outstanding Female Coach
Malis grew up in Tucson and attended Sahuaro High School, where she was a four-year varsity starter and played club volleyball for the Southern Arizona Juniors.
Malis earned a scholarship to play volleyball at the University of Arizona. She was named to the All-Pac 10 Academic Second Team in 1991 and All-Pac 10 Academic First team in 1992 and 1993, as well as GTE Academic All-American in 1993. Malis graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture (nutrition and dietetics). And in 1996, she was one of 16 athletes in the nation to be awarded the NCAA Women’s Enhancement Post Graduate Scholarship. She graduated in August 1997 with a master’s degree in sports administration.
During the spring of 1993 and 1994, Malis coached for Club Cactus. In the fall of 1994, she was an assistant coach at California State University at Bakersfield. The team finished seconnd in the NCAA Division II Championship.
Upon returning back to Tucson in the spring of 1995, Malis again coached club. In the fall of 1995, she and her husband A.J. started Zona VBC and Malis took over the volleyball program at Palo Verde High School. She was the varsity coach there through the 2001 season. Malis was the varsity coach at Sabino High School during the 2011 season. She is currently the varsity coach at Tanque Verde High School.
Outstanding Male Coach
Joel Kent has coached junior volleyball since the early 1990s. During law school he coached high school volleyball at a small private school in Washington. After law school, he continued coaching both through local clubs and high school while working at a Portland law firm.
In 1998, Kent’s law firm expanded to Bend, Oregon, a small town in central Oregon. He became a partner in the law firm and his law practice thrived. Upon his arrival, he was asked by a relative of a former player to come to Prineville, Oregon, to assist with their club program known as Rimrock Volleyball. Kent drove two hours, round trip, three to five days a week coaching the local Rimrock team at practices. The success on the court started to gain momentum and his team gain prominence.
Since 2000, players from his club team have led their high school teams to 15 High School State Championships. Kent’s players have received numerous awards. His 18’s team is never comprised of just seniors as there aren’t enough players from which to draw at one age level. Usually, his team is comprised of a couple kids from each age group from seniors to freshman. Yet, his team consistently competes with the top programs from throughout the nation.
Kent, however, is about more than success on the court. Volleyball is the vehicle for his players to seek success off the court with their education and character. He hires his current and former players to work within his law firm, and hires the team to work public relations events to raise money to help pay for club expenses. Kent regularly works with his student athletes on building character and self-confidence.
Kent melds to two vocations with uncommon success. Coach Kent is married to Rachel and is the proud father of two daughters, Steele and Huston both of whom are aspiring volleyball players.
Terri Ehret has been involved with the Ohio Valley Region for 15 years. She began coaching junior club volleyball 15 years ago with the COAST Volleyball Club.
After coaching for Elite Ohio Volleyball Club and AVC, Ehret switched her mindset and began using her volleyball knowledge to launch her officiating career for the OVR. Terri began officiating for OVR five years ago. She truly prefers working with the younger players, teaching them the aspects of the game, including the scoring, line judging and the responsibilities of the second referee.
Besides her experience with officiating, Ehret has 32 years of experience working with young people. During these years, she was a health and physical education teacher for the Canton City School District before retiring in 2014. During those 32 years, Ehret also had 25 years of coaching experience, with 10 years as head volleyball coach at Canton McKinley Senior High School.
Currently Ehret resides in Canton, Ohio, and enjoys her retirement as an assistant volleyball coach at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. She spends her weekends officiating volleyball for USA Volleyball. She is also a lifeguard at the Canton City Natatorium. Her retirement has also allowed her time to pursue gardening, traveling, and coloring adult coloring books.
Ehret also received the Robert L Lindsay Meritorious Service Award from the OVR in December of 2015.
Davis is a very proud mom of twin girls, April and Anna. The girls are 17 and juniors at Aurora High School in Aurora, Ohio. Anna plays on the 17 Ignite’s Red team. Davis’ family leads a very busy life with sports and it keeps them forever young. Both of the girls play volleyball at school, then April goes into high school basketball and Anna plays junior volleyball. The girls started playing basketball in second grade and volleyball in seventh grade.
Tina, blessed with twins at age 38, is Team Mom for the Ignite Team and has always loved kids. She gets teased about making sure everyone of the girls are fed, have water and are happy! She wants to take care of everyone and considers all of them her girls.
Davis works in the Aurora School District with kids who have special needs as a health instructional assistant. This is her 11th year and she loves her job! Every day is different and challenging, but she wants to be the one that makes a difference in someone’s life. Her goal is to work herself out of a job in order to make these kids independent. This is her second year at the middle school level, after working with elementary kids.
Davis was diagnosed with breast cancer seven months ago. It is only the beginning of a long journey for her, but she is not fighting alone. The Ignite volleyball team, coaches and parents have gone above and beyond for her. They have done so much, but holding a fundraiser was very touching for her and her family. The team is like family!
The girls on the team call her mom or Tina and they always greet her and leave her with a hug. When the team wins and gets a medal, she gets one too and is included in team pictures. One of the goals of the team is to make her have happy tears every weekend, and so far it’s working! Tina says it was a very nice surprise to receive this award, which brought quite a few tears.
Barb believes that she has worn about every hat in the volleyball world: player, coach, parent, Impact clinician, ref/score clinician, board member, official, scorer and trainer.
Twohig started playing in the 70s. In the 80s she started coaching high school and club girls’ teams. In the 90s she co-founded a boys’ club and became an Impact clinician, National scorer and Regional official as well joining the Evergreen Region Board. In 2000 Twohig became a state-rated official for the high school season and continued to coach boys’ teams during the USAV season in addition to being a Regional referee.
About eight years ago Twohig transitioned to being a different kind of coach, and became the trainer for local high school officials – and still coached boys’ teams. Training has become more and more of her focus for the past few years. She feels it is challenging and rewarding to teach the game from a different perspective. For most of the USAV season, when not officiating, she travels to different tournaments and works with the newer officials and coaches.
The last hat that Twohig wears, and has always worn, is that of a fan! She and her husband Kevin have attended four Olympics as well as multiple NCAA championships and World League matches. Barb currently works the Open Championships every year as a scorer. She loves the environment and feels watching matches all day is a fan’s dream.
Volleyball is a family affair. Barb and her husband have experienced volleyball as players, coaches, parents and officials. Through this process they have seen the importance of showing young players how to have fun with the sport, and to focus more on the experience that on the outcome. Volleyball is a great forum for teaching values, priorities, and other life skills. Volleyball is and remains an integral part of their lives.