Laramie County Community College announced that Keri Coats would be taking over as the new head volleyball coach on Feb. 26, replacing departed coach Austin Albers.
Coats is from Twin Falls, Idaho where she was teaching fifth grade. She didn’t start her volleyball career until eighth grade, because the schools she attended did not have the sport. Even though it was only a club team, Coats said she felt something for the sport and grew a love for it.
Coats would go on to play at the college level at College of Southern Idaho for two years. During her time at CSI she helped their Golden Eagles make the NJCAA tournament, reaching third- and fifth-place finishes. Coats would go on to the NCAA Big 12 conference and played for the University of Oklahoma for another two years.
After graduating from OU, Coats took her talents back on the court but in a different role. Coats became a high school coach in Meridian, Idaho. During her time coaching in Meridian, Coats earned 2011 5A Southern Idaho Conference Coach of The Year. She coached the high school team for five years before returning to her hometown and became an assistant coach for CSI and helped them win the 2015 NJCAA National Tournament.
Coats first heard of the position through networking and then was asked for an interview with Athletic Director Clark Rasmussen. When she was offered the position Coats said she knew it was somewhere she wanted to be coaching full time. Coats said becoming the next LCCC coach was an opportunity she couldn’t give up.
“Cheyenne is just a great area. It is a great place to live, and it’s great for recruiting,” Coats said.
Coats will be leaving her teaching job later this month and getting on campus for the Golden Eagles’ first practice on March 25.
According to Coats, she has been coaching for more than 10 years, and with that experience she said she sees LCCC going to the next level.
“I don’t know many of the players but one returner that stands out is McKayla (Earl), she has a lot of experience and I’m excited for her to grow as a leader,” Coats said.
According to Coats, someone else she is excited to get to work with is assistant Madison Lacey, who she has already been in contact with.
Former volleyball coach Albers had high expectations on and off the court for his athletes. Albers expected his athletes to maintain a 3.0 GPA, play their best on the court, and to be involved in the community. Rasmussen said he expects Coats to continue those expectations, if not even do a better job.
“I believe in her 100 percent to continue in what Austin built,” Rasmussen said.