PREP VOLLEYBALL: Whitaker takes over DHS volleyball

·2 min read

Jun. 23—DANVILLE — The Danville High School volleyball team is starting over this upcoming season with a new leader at the helm.

Jason Whitaker was announced as the new Vikings' volleyball coach earlier this month, taking over for Amber Galleguillos.

Before he got the job, the Paris native had been a production supervisor at a company in Marshall and a substitute at Paris High School the last few years along with coaching youth sports.

"I really enjoyed being a teacher and I applied for a teaching job at Danville for business and computers," Whitaker said. "In the interviewing process, I mentioned that I coached youth sports in Paris for the last 11 years and the last four years, I was Shiloh Junior High Basketball coach. They were talking about coaching opportunities at Danville and volleyball was something that I was interested in since my daughter played and I dove right in and put in for the opportunity."

While Whitaker's kids have played Danville teams all the time, Whitaker looked up the past in Danville volleyball and hopes to build potential.

"I have noticed it has been in the .300's and I saw a few years back, there was some progress, so it is something I want to continue on," Whitaker said. "I know the Big 12 is a big conference with talented kids. We had a few open gym practices and I saw the talent with the Danville girls and we feel that it is something that we can build on and go forward."

After being hired on June 7, Whitaker said that the open gyms gave him a great idea of what he is working with.

"So far, they have been respectful and easy to work with. They are taking advice," Whitaker said. "We did a drill called "Hyperventilate" where they had to do a lot of movement and they would say 'This is a tough drill,' so they are taking direction and working well. They are very smart and capable young ladies."

Whitaker has associates degrees from Lakeland Community College and Western Governors college and is working on his Masters at Grand Canyon University.

With school and the season starting soon, Whitaker is ready to put in the time.

"We only have about eight weeks in building the calendar. We have a lot to do in building that foundation for the season," Whitaker said. "We want to build and get fundamentals and it is about building intuition. You can prepare for anything, but you don't know where the ball is going where it is hit and we have to work on that."

Whitaker believes that his experiences will make his first season as a varsity coach a successful one for him and the Vikings.

"Danville is a great place to start my varsity career and I am happy to work with the girls and keep Danville going on the right direction and keep moving forward.