Volleyball: Analy’s Williams taking break from coaching

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Nancy Williams, who guided Analy’s volleyball program to seven consecutive Sonoma County League titles, is taking a leave of absence from coaching.

Analy volleyball coach Nancy Williams in 2001 (PD file photo).

In a recent meeting with athletic director Joe Ellwood, Williams at first wanted to walk away permanently. Ellwood persuaded her to take a leave of absence.

“My tank is empty,” Williams said. “My mind is telling me I want to continue coaching, my body is telling me I’m worn out. Physically, I just can’t continue.

“This (decision) has nothing to do with the girls here or volleyball. It’s strictly me listening to what my body is telling me.”

Williams will continue teaching at Analy where she is the physical education department chair.

If she never coaches another game for the Tigers, Williams’ legacy is secure. She came to the school in 2000 and was the junior varsity coach. She took over the varsity the following year and in 2004, Analy began its streak of seven consecutive league titles.

The Tigers finished 12-1 in SCL last season and advanced to the semifinals of North Coast Section (Division 3) where they lost in the fifth set (15-13) to host Campolindo. The team from Moraga went on to become state champions.

“Thoughts about walking away from coaching began the middle of last season,” Williams said. “I was just blindsided by the thoughts because I love coaching at Analy and volleyball has always been part of my life.”

Williams said it was an inner struggle to attend practice every day.

“My body was telling me it needed to rest,” Williams said. “I pushed myself to try and act normally and even sometimes had to fake enthusiasm. Once I got to practice and the girls started drills, I was able to keep going.”

A few days ago, after speaking with school officials, Williams called a meeting for all the girls involved in the program.

“They were shocked,” Williams said. “However, after I finished talking, I think they understood why I made the decision I did.

“I’ve been blessed to work with a tremendous group of young ladies through the years.

“At this point in my life, with the way my body is feeling these days, I can’t give the girls what they deserve. Coaching for me is a year-round commitment. Before and after the season we have drills and the past two summers, I’ve implemented a sand volleyball program for the girls at Ragle Park.

“My body is telling me enough is enough and I’m listening this time.”

The school district has begun advertising for a new coach and Williams will be on the selection committee to pick her successor.