Hillsboro High School head volleyball coach Sandy Arnold needs no introduction. Arnold has spent 17 years at Hillsboro, 26 years total as a head coach. Her approach to the game and her brutal honesty is refreshing. Relationships, winning and the overall experience of a community supporting a team is what she’s all about.
“I’ll be honest, I enjoy winning and I have been blessed with a lot of talent to allow that – but that does not even compare to the relationships that are formed from being involved in this game,” said Arnold. “I have so many friends I have made while coaching – peers, opposing coaches, mentors, and assistant coaches who have also become great friends. It is so fun to be able to visit with them, learn from them, share tips with them, and confide in them. The relationships with the players are also very rewarding. I love watching the kids grow in their abilities and the look on their faces when they see their hard work pay off.”
As a player and coach entering the profession, Arnold leaned on her mentors for advice and guidance.
“I had two coaches in high school who influenced me greatly in the career of coaching. Vicky Kessler, current and successful basketball coach at Moundridge High School, was my high school basketball and volleyball coach and then my cooperating teacher when I did my student teaching. Harold Oliver, an amazing – still winning basketball coach at Fort Riley, was also my basketball coach for two years in high school. I learned a lot about relationships and passion for what you do from these two, as well as knowledge of the game,” said Arnold.
“When I went to Bethel College, however, was when I developed my desire to coach volleyball. I played for Diane Flickner and helped out at her numerous volleyball camps. Diane shared her love and passion for the game as well as coaching. She was a stickler for fundamentals and was an excellent motivator. She was firm and demanding, but at the same time very complimentary and caring. These three people are the main reason I chose this profession.”
This season Hillsboro exceeded all expectations by recording their best record in five years.
“The team this year was led by five seniors with a great deal of varsity experience. Dani Klein, Kinsey Kleiner, Jessica Saunders, Tuesday Weisbeck, and Teegan Werth all played varsity anywhere from 2-4 years. This was a talented group with a strong desire to succeed. They took their roles as seniors seriously and led the team to a 28-7 record, our best record in five years,” said Arnold. “They also helped us to a 4th place finish at the 2A state tournament. This was our first appearance at state since 2014.”