Confronted with both the possibility of not playing this season and a vacancy at the varsity coach position, the Colusa High School volleyball program has turned to a familiar face in JV coach Kim Roper to take the reins and keep the RedHawks on the right track.
A graduate of Colusa High School, Roper, who played volleyball and softball and was selected as the outstanding female athlete in her senior year, not only has an appreciation for sport, but also a deep interest in the success of her alma mater.
Although no stranger to leading a program, Roper did not begin her coaching career in Colusa, but rather in Maxwell, when after college, she spent six seasons coaching volleyball for the Panthers from 1992-1998.
At that point however, she stepped away from the high school game for over a decade to raise a family and focus on her teaching career.
Nonetheless in 2013, with her kids now older, she found the prospect of returning to coaching intriguing and accepted the JV volleyball job in Colusa.
“I have always enjoyed coaching and I felt it was a good opportunity to coach at the high school level again,” said Roper of her decision to return to the bench.
Now fast forwarding seven years to 2020, and with Coach Tina Lyons relinquishing the top spot, Roper, who has had great success with her JV teams, saw the opening as the natural progression of her continued development as a coach, and decided to make the move to the varsity.
“My experience as the JV coach has built my confidence and brought back my love and passion for the game. Then given my competitive nature, I felt it was right to step up and embrace the new challenge of the varsity position.”
Also believing that Roper is the right fit for the job is Lyons, who has worked closely with Roper over the years, and endorsed her friend and successor in this way,
“Kim is an excellent coach with a deep commitment to the program. She has a love for the game that she will share with the athletes. I know it’s in good hands,” said Lyons.
So now while Roper and her team wait to see if and when they will have an actual season, she is ready when the time is right, saying, “I am excited to coach ‘my girls’ since I have coached most of them since they were six years old. I am also looking forward to exploring new strategies and incorporating the talents of each individual to create an amazing team and lots of memories.” ■