By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Lisa Handley, a candidate for the head volleyball coach position at MSU-Northern, hopes to bring the volleyball team and the community together as one unit, she said in a recent interview.
Handley reigns most recently from Rocky Mountain College in Billings where she was, most recently, the assistant volleyball coach and strength and conditioning coach.
She has been the head volleyball coach at Shepherd High School, Laurel High School and an assistant coach at Glasgow. She has coached club volleyball teams in Montana and Minnesota and has run camps and clinics in both states.
Handley said that stability would be the best quality that she would bring the Northern volleyball team.
I would like to bring this team up to the respectable level that the basketball and wrestling teams have achieved, she said.
Handley said building community involvement would be very important to the team. When she met with the volleyball team last week, they discussed the girls going into classrooms around Havre and spending time with the students, she said. They also discussed mentoring programs, inviting classes to the games and increasing the number of volleyball camps to include younger athletes.
It is so important to bring the community and the volleyball program together, Handley said.
She chose Northern because she found Havre to be great place to raise her two young children, ages seven and four, and because the program needs a coach who is willing to stay.
I want the girls to get the love of volleyball back in them, Handley said.
Helping students beyond coaching is also important to Handley, who, she said, is extremely dedicated to helping student-athletes attain their educational goals.
They need to learn time management and responsibility, she said. One goal for Handley as coach would be to have her athletes achieve academic excellence. Handley herself received team academic honors by maintaining the highest GPA, a 3.82, during her stint at Rocky.
While recruiting for the team, she said she would look first locally, then statewide and then beyond.
There are great Montana athletes who can play at the college level, she said. She would choose athletes who are an all-around good person, someone who works hard and is a good person to be around, she said.