Saturday, February 24, 2018

Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball coach Chris Dahl named Coach of the Year

April 1, 2015 by Jason Schreurs, assistant editor

The head coach of the Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball team has won the national Coach of the Year award, an honour that his players and coaching staff agree is well overdue.

Chris Dahl, now in his fifth year coaching the Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball squad, was awarded Coach of the Year while his team was playing at the recent national championships.

“I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with a lot of successful teams, where we’ve had the opportunity for success, and that includes individual accolades as well,” says Dahl. “But you take it all in stride, and you don’t let good things like this veer you off your path to success, just like you don’t let failures and times of struggle do the same.”

Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball coach Chris Dahl was recently named national Coach of the Year (photo provided).

Camosun Chargers women’s volleyball coach Chris Dahl was recently named national Coach of the Year (photo provided).

This has been Dahl’s most successful year with the team, and the team’s best-ever showing, with a bronze medal in their first national championship appearance. Dahl says that when he first came into the position he was instrumental in shaping the team program, but now that he’s established it, his athletes have a huge part in the team’s success.

“Five years ago I came into this program with a coaching staff and had a vision of where we’d like to take this,” says Dahl. “And we’re fortunate to have two athletes who have stuck with us for the duration. We have a symbiotic relationship; the coaches are more successful with the athletes’ assistance and support, and vice versa.”

One of the athletes who has been with the team as long as Dahl has is Hilary Graham, a provincial first-team all-star player who says that Dahl’s Coach of the Year title is long overdue.

“He should have gotten the award in past years, but the team has to do well for the coach to win, and we haven’t had the same success in previous years,” says Graham. “But it’s amazing to see how much a difference he’s made in the past five years with this program, and this award tops it all off. He’s deserved it more than for this year; he’s deserved it the entire time he’s been here.”

One of Dahl’s assistant coaches, Chris Koutougos, says that Dahl’s success is due in part to his coaching style and personality, his attention to detail, and the close relationship he has with his players.

“He’s a great guy and he’s an exceptional coach. Not only does he know volleyball inside out, he knows people,” says Koutougos. “He really sets up a program to be not just about the game; he’s tireless and he provides a really good overall experience for the players.”

Charger Erika Sheen, a first-team all-star at the national championships, says she would have been shocked if Dahl didn’t receive the award.

“He does so much behind-the-scenes work that only the players see, so when we heard he was nominated we all knew he deserved it,” says Sheen. “When he won the award it was pretty emotional thinking that our coach was Canadian Coach of the Year. And it’s about time that he got recognized.”

Dahl downplays the importance of the award and places the emphasis on team success. Riding high off the best showing the Camosun women’s volleyball team has ever had, he’s looking ahead.

“To take this crew and this program to their first ever national championships and to perform as well as we did, it’s definitely a highlight of my time as a Charger,” says Dahl. “But like every season, it’s an experience I’ll never forget, and now we’re looking ahead to next season.”

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