Name: Hugh Williams
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ
Current Team: 18 Black
Previous Team: 17 Black, 13 Red, 13 Black, 16 Black, 15 Black
Current CJVA position: Assistant Coach
Coach Hugh started playing in the 1980s in the Adult division of what is now GEVA. He started coaching when his two daughters expressed interest in playing.
Starting in 2009 with a young 13s team, Coach Hugh has continued with that age group throughout his CJVA career. This included earning a bid to USAV Nationals in 2011 with his 13 Red and GEVA 13 Club Champions in 2017 with his 13 Black. He has also served as the Mentor Coach for 13s and 14s for the last two years. In addition to leading our younger teams he has assisted at older levels and helped 15 Black to an American bid to USAV Nationals in 2014 and 16 Black to an American bid 2015.
In 2015 he joined Head Coach Andrea Salazar as an assistant coach at Delaware Valley University’s women’s volleyball program (Division III) served as head coach the following year.
How would you describe your coaching style?
Encourage all players to move beyond what they are doing now to greater achievements, both individually and as a team. Drills start with the basics and then add new elements to bring new skills. The encouragement has to come from more than just the coach. Support from teammates and parents – team chemistry – is essential.
What is your favorite characteristic in a player?
Nothing gives an edge on the court like determination. With many players you can see it in their body language. Getting mentally down saps our determination, so a positive attitude is also essential.
Who are the people that have influenced you most as a coach?
John Kessel taught me to looking beyond standard drills to get more out of each practice. Andrea Salazar has been a great example of how to push players and to get them to push themselves.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in coaching mode?
Wait…what? Oh, right. I research my family history and enjoy hiking with my wife. We try to keep track of how are kids are doing in college and graduate school as we figure out what to do with our empty nest.
What’s your favorite thing about volleyball?
I have found more good friends through volleyball – both as a player and a coach – than any other activity. By far.