Stecki resigns as Lady Buffs' head volleyball coach


For the third time in as many years, Garden City High School will be searching for a new volleyball coach.

Sara Stecki, who has guided the Lady Buffs volleyball program for the past two seasons, has resigned for the second time in two years.

The USD 457 Board of Education accepted her resignation letter on Monday at its monthly meeting.

Stecki, who guided the Lady Buffs to consecutive Western Athletic Conference titles, first resigned in late March 2012 after the team posted a 22-15 record in the 2011 season. At the time, she indicated a desire to return to school, and to continue coaching, but hoped to return to Georgia to be near her family.

But the job search didn't prove fruitful and she was re-hired in mid-June of 2012 and came back to guide the Lady Buffs to a 19-15 season mark and another WAC title. In each of her two seasons, the Lady Buffs finished runners-up in the Class 6A sub-state tournament.

"I've enjoyed my time coaching here and have really enjoyed working with the girls," Stecki said on Wednesday.

Stecki was hired in July 2011 to replace Bob Schmitz, who had resigned at the end of the 2010 season following two seasons when the team went 29-42. Schmitz had taken over the program in 2009 after Melissa Savolt had retired following 12 seasons as the Lady Buffs coach, amassing a 229-205 record.

"I think she's just debating what her future was," Martin Segovia, GCHS athletic director, said of Stecki's latest resignation. "Our volleyball has been an odd situation for us. We'd like to get more consistency in our coaching position there. Sara brought us some consistency for the two years she coached. We'll be recruiting someone for the long term."

Segovia said he had received Stecki's resignation letter early last week.

"She showed that our program can be successful," Segovia said of Stecki. "She did a nice job of getting us back on track."

Stecki has been teaching seventh grade math at Kenneth Henderson Middle School this school year.

"I still have a desire to go back to school, and unfortunately cannot do that while giving all the time and energy the team deserves, so I have decided to resign from coaching," Stecki said.

Segovia said the job posting was made earlier this week within the district. State law requires a three-day waiting period before it can be posted outside the district.

"We'll start the search process and hope to get somebody hired as soon as possible," Segovia said. "We'd like to have somebody hired before the summer so we can have the coach in place for our summer camps and practices."

Eight players from the 2012 varsity roster will return next fall for the new coach. That group includes all-WAC honorable mention selections Jacksenie Tornero and Taryn Tempel. Other returns include Jamie St. Clair, Taylor Linenberger, Kennedy Brunson, Jaymie Bernbeck, Jill Fischer and Erika Schafer.

"We have the nucleus of kids coming back with five returning starters," Segovia said of the program's immediate future. "We've got kids coming up through the clubs and I think Garden City is a hot spot for a good program."