The Lakeland Mirror

Lakeland brings in new leader

Last+year%27s+volleyball+team+spikes+the+competition+away.
Last year's volleyball team spikes the competition away.

Last year's volleyball team spikes the competition away.

Benjamin Wilks

Benjamin Wilks

Last year's volleyball team spikes the competition away.

Benjamin Wilks, Sports Editor

Recently, Lakeland has been hiring new coaches for the athletics program. One of the hires is Ryan Schopf, who is the new women’s volleyball coach.

Schopf is a native of Sturgeon Bay and volleyball has been his whole life. His mother was also an intermittent volleyball coach for about 30 years. As a child, most of his life was spent competing and being around sports.

“I would go to practices when I was three or four years old,” said Schopf. “Most of my babysitters were volleyball players.”

In addition to his mother and caretakers, Schopf had another familial influence in his life.

“My uncle coached college baseball,” said Schopf. “That added to my inspiration to have a career focused in sports.”

He comes to Lakeland after working as an assistant coach at Jacksonville State University, an NCAA Division I school.

“A really good buddy of mine connected to the volleyball world in Wisconsin gave me a call and said that the Lakeland job was open,” said Schopf. “I immediately called [Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Studies] April Arvan to see what the deal was with the job.”

Schopf wanted to move his family back to Wisconsin, but that was not the Sturgeon Bay native’s only reason for returning.

“I wanted to coach at a school that had a winning tradition,” said Schopf.

When asked about his first impression of the team, Schopf said that he was impressed with the players.

“You could tell they wanted to be coached and wanted to win,” said Schopf.

Schopf has coached at the high school level and the collegiate level, and according to him, this is the best team that he has ever coached.

“This team plays harder than any team I have ever had,” said Schopf. “It is a very exciting time in our season to see how we stack up with the top half of our conference. Only time will tell.”

 

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Lakeland brings in new leader