Q&A with Ladies Volleyball Coach Dan Gwitt
Monday, August 25, 2008

The Centenary volleyball team enters the 2008 season with 12 players on the roster. That in itself is nothing out of the ordinary. However, this year’s squad features 11 newcomers and 10 freshmen under the direction of first-year head coach Dan Gwitt. There is excitement in the air in the Gold Dome as a new era of Centenary volleyball is beginning. Coach Gwitt gives fans some insight into the volleyball program in a brief question and answer session.


Q: After doing some research, it looks like Centenary officially is the youngest and least experienced team in the NCAA this season. What is it like coaching a team this young? What do these young players need to do to help this program move forward?


A: Coaching such a young team, you have to be patient, have a vision, and stick to that vision.  Of course, you are going to suffer at times and probably be limited in what you want to accomplish in certain areas.  However, with a young team you find yourself optimistic and sometimes surprised!  I think with our team this year, the biggest challenge will be learning how to create the right volleyball culture.  These young Ladies need to find that extra something that all great programs and teams possess and create their own version.  Once they have done that, and learn to bring it to the gym everyday, I think we will be in great shape for this season and our future.  


Q: What are some of your goals for the team this year?


A: Personally I have two main goals for our team this year.  The first goal is to get better every time we step onto the floor.  The other goal is to be playing volleyball after November 22nd.  Regardless of our experience, I coach to win championships and I recruit players who want nothing less.    


Q: What are your thoughts on the schedule your team will play this season?


A: Like they say, it’s not how you start, its how you finish.  Our goal for this year is to be playing our best volleyball on November 21st.  In order to do that, I have put together a challenging opening tournament schedule that will show us a variety of top level teams and volleyball from around the country.  Our main focus as a team is to get better every time we step onto the court.  Playing bigger and more experienced teams will help us do that and ultimately prepare us for anybody we face in The Summit League. 


Q: What do you think will be some of the strengths of this team?


A: I think that you can predetermine the success of any team in our league by their ability to pass and serve the ball efficiently.  I think that one of the ways we will be able to compete with older and more experienced teams is through our ability to do these two things particularly well as a young team.  Just going off what I have seen in preseason thus far, I think that we will be a very tough all-around serving team and become a better passing team through repetition.


Q: Any other thoughts in closing?


A: It’s no secret that we have the odds stacked against us and a schedule that is sure to push these players, but it’s all being built with one goal in mind...being the best team we can be when we step onto the court for our first and last conference match.  I wish the best to all of our Centenary fans and I hope to see you all out at our first home match September 26th at 7pm.  


Coach Dan Gwitt