The Prep volleyball program welcomed Mike Resurreccion this spring season as its new head coach. Coach Mike, better known as Maui, has been playing volleyball for 23 years, starting from passing a ball on the sidelines of his father’s beach volleyball games at the age of 6. Nine years later, he began to play as a setter on his high school team and a libero for Red Rose Volleyball Club, a national boy’s club volleyball team.
“Back in the 90s, it was not really heard of to have a club volleyball team for boys, but it was awesome,” Resurreccion said. “I returned and played 16s again for Red Rose, and we got 16th out of 88 in the nation, which was insane.”
After graduating from Holy Name Highs Shool, Resurreccion continued his volleyball career for the next three years at Gannon University, a Division II school for men’s volleyball. Remaining in the Catholic school system and Erie, he joined the Prep-Villa athletic department in 2019 as the assistant coach of the Villa swim team. He then later on assumed the position of head coach of the Villa volleyball team.
“I had two girls that played volleyball who were on the swimming team,” Resurreccion said. “I was actually on deck and I had a water polo ball and I was setting it. They were like, ‘Hey, you should really look into coaching volleyball.’ So I emailed Coach Parker, and he finally let me in last minute. I loved it, and I loved the girls.”
Towards the end of last year, Resurreccion officially decided to add coaching boys as the head coach of Prep’s volleyball team to coaching his girls’ teams. He was especially motivated by his experience with the sport itself and recognition of the coaching changes boys may call for.
“[Coaching boys] is a different challenge,” Resurreccion said. “Girls volleyball and boys volleyball are two different games. [Men’s Volleyball] is a very alpha-male style of sport. It’s a little bit unorthodox, a little bit slimy, but at the same time it’s like controlled chaos.”
Gavin Irons, a Prep senior who advocated with myself for the start of the Prep volleyball program our sophomore year, has seen two coaches come and go since the start of his volleyball career. Recognizing that no program starts easy, Gavin is not too bothered by the annual change in coaching staff and is excited for the opportunities that may come with a new coach this season.
“What excites me most is the ability to have another coach who is going to teach us more about the game and maybe even clean up some of the ‘squeaky’ parts of how we play as individuals and as a team,” said Gavin.
“Whether [success] means winning a full match this year or just getting the team to a point where we can come back next year and be experienced enough in a match, I hope to achieve it,” Gavin said. “As long as we can get some of the underclassmen some experience, tit would mean a successful year in my book.”
The new head coach’s major goals this season mainly surround growth, learning, and enjoyment in the players’ times spent competing on the court. While Resurreccion would love to have an undefeated season, he emphasized that he wants to start with small goals first.
“My biggest goals for this season are to be competitive as all hell, play our strengths, continue the program, and win our first match,” he said. “I want you guys to love the sport. I want you to walk away becoming better volleyball players as an individual. When you leave, I want you to be able to get better in every facet of the game and learn something.”