A new batch of freshmen, anxious seniors, and the beginning of a new school year isn’t all that South volleyball has in store for next fall. South athletic director J.R. Holmes has recently appointed Eugene Kim as the new girls head volleyball coach.
Out of the five applicants for the position, Kim seemed most knowledgeable and proficient with the sport and players that are currently part of the team. He is also the director and co-founder of Hoosierland Volleyball Club, and has sent his teams to national tournaments.
“He was my coach from sixth to eighth grade and pretty much got me into volleyball in fifth grade,” said Emma Chafin, junior. Chafin has been a part of the volleyball program at South since her freshman year, while participating in club volleyball during the off-season. Kim has been coaching volleyball for over 10 years and is more than qualified to lead the team. “I think it’s because of his background, and he’s young. I feel like he’ll be here for a while,” said Maddi Kane, freshman and South volleyball player.
But with any new coach comes new expectations and changes within the program. “It will be a different atmosphere,” said Holmes. “A lot of the girls have had him as a coach before.” That doesn’t exclude the individuals who have not yet experienced how Coach Kim works. “I think there will be a lot more conditioning, and intensity, and winning,” said Chafin. “I think we’ll be really competitive.” Kim’s experience as a coach has the potential to greatly benefit the team as a whole. He has coached at Bloomington North, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and has also assisted Indiana University’s Women’s Volleyball coach, Katie Weismiller. The faculty in charge of the volleyball program hopes to see steady and reliable dedication that will in turn profit both the team and its coaches. “I think what we do with the time we have will be more efficient,” said Kane. Kane plans to continue playing volleyball into her sophomore year and has played for Hoosierland, but not under Kim himself. “I’m yet to play for him, but from what I hear he’s very down to business,” said Kane.
There are high hopes for the performance of the volleyball team with these new changes and as for any team, Kim anticipates seeing a level of consistent excellence in the program every year. “There’s no secret to being successful, we need to work hard every day in practice and that’s where it’s going to start.” said Kim. He hopes to see this effort not only from the players but also in the enthusiasm of the fans and supporters of the team. “This group of kids will be responsible for re-defining a program,” said Kim. “We’re going to have to redefine what [Panther volleyball] is all about.”