DUNLAP — Kelly Hale is ready to go, like now.
"I just feel so blessed and grateful for this opportunity," Hale said Monday, May 5, shortly after being named Concord High School varsity volleyball coach. "It's been a dream of mine to come back and coach at the same school I played for. I just have so much love and pride for this school, and I'm so ready to get started."
Athletic director Dave Preheim announced Hale's appointment.
A 2003 Concord graduate, Hale was an assistant with the Minutemen from 2008 to 2011 before spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Goshen College, where she worked under former Concord head coach Jim Routhier.
"I feel like I've had very good preparation," said Hale, who succeeds Laurie Rhoades. "Both Laurie and J.R. have taught me a lot of valuable things and helped me gain a lot of knowledge."
Hale was a multi-year All-Northern Lakes Conference volleyball player at Concord, in addition to playing basketball and competing in track for the Minutemen.
She then played four years of volleyball and participated in track at Ohio Northern University in Ada.
Hale is a phlebotomist at Elkhart General Hospital and a special education paraprofessional at Concord Junior High.
Besides coaching volleyball, she has has been a member of the Concord High girls track staff since 2008 and has coached girls junior high basketball.
"We're very pleased to have Kelly back in our volleyball program," Preheim said. "Both her mother and sister are members of our athletic hall of fame, so she comes from a family with lots of Concord history, and knows our school and program well. Hopefully, that will make for a smooth transition."
Hale's sister, Jennifer Higley, was inducted into the Concord Athletic Hall of Fame last week, and her mom, the former Cheryl Hatten, was inducted a year ago.
Rhoades resigned after the 2013 season with a 133-71 record over six years.