Just when it looked like summer heat had everyone slowing down, things are moving and shaking at Front Range! On the heels of moving out of one facility (the "SILO") to go to another facility (the "FACTORY"), Front Range gained a new member of the Front Range coaching staff - none other than Jim Stone. While Jim is new to Front Range, he certainly isn't new to coaching - and at the highest levels.
After thirty years coaching in college, Stone retired from those ranks about three years ago. During his time at Wyoming (three years) and at the Ohio State University (27 years), Jim was achieved a multitude of milestones. He was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year four times and Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year in 1991; he led Ohio State to two appearances in the NCAA Final Four; he coached 26 All-Big Ten players, 14 All-Americans, and two National Players of the Year.
Stone, however, does not seem to know what the word "retirement" means. After leaving Ohio State, he became the USA Women's Youth National Team coach and promptly led the team to NORCECA Championships in both 2008 and 2010. Coach Stone will continue in his capacity as YNT Coach for USA Volleyball along with coaching duties at Front Range.
We asked Jim a few questions as he prepares to assist the USA Women's National Team at the FIVB World Grand Prix.
FR: You enjoyed outstanding success at the college level prior to your retirement in 2007. What were the factors that went into your decision to return to coaching?
Stone: Even though I retired from coaching at Ohio State, I never lost my passion for coaching. I left OSU and immediately got involved with the USA Youth National Team. It has been a wonderful experience to compete internationally the last three years.
FR: What made you decide to join the FRVBC staff?
Stone: I have always thought that Front Range is special. Front Range creates an atmosphere that allows players to play at their highest possible level and prepares them for a successful career in volleyball both in college and beyond. This is certainly the environment that I enjoy. Volleyball is the most fun to play when it is played well. However, to play well requires a lot of time and practice. I enjoy the practices probably more than the games because it is where you see the most improvement.
FR: What can you tell us about your coaching philosophy? .
Stone: I believe the goal is to achieve the best level of play possible on a consistent basis. I always told my players at Ohio State that if you are a good player, you will be good all the time. I think it is fun for players to get their skills to a point where they can compete for championships or do things on the court they didn't think they could accomplish. Front Range wants to compete for championships so I look forward to doing that with the club. I want the game to be fun for the players. Fun is different things to different players. I would like for the players I coach to enjoy challenges, enjoy the competitive environment, and enjoy the pursuit of great things on a volleyball court.
We are honored and delighted to have Jim join us here at Front Range. We expect him to be in Colorado in mid-November.