Photo: Denise Mattison, pictured above with assisttant Dale Beason, was recently named Westbrook Christian head volleyball coach.
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Westbrook Christian recently turned up another gold nugget in the school’s current revamping of its athletic staff.
Less than a week after hiring Donny Pruitt and Seth Ford to run Westbrook’s boys and girls’ basketball teams, respectively, WCS Principal Cindy confirmed that longtime Ashville High coach Denise Mattison will oversee the girls’ volleyball program.
Mattison said that Ford, a 2003 AHS graduate who coached the Ashville boys basketball team for two seasons, recently informed her that Greer was looking for a new volleyball coach and asked if Mattison was interested. Mattison told Ford to give her number to Greer, who called Mattison to set up an appointment with her and WCS girls athletic director Holly Ostendorf. Mattison apparently made a good impression right off the bat.
“We talked as she showed me around the school, and I told [Greer] that I regretted retiring when I did and that I wasn’t done,” said Mattison. “Mrs. Greer said, ‘I want you here.’ After praying about it and talking with my husband Scott, I called [Greer] the next day and accepted. It’s a great opportunity and I’m excited to get started.”
Mattison brings an impressive track record to 100 Westminster Drive. As head volleyball coach at Ashville High from 2003 to 2015, her teams went 366-145 for a winning percentage of .716.
See Denise Mattison – page 2B
Mattison led the Lady Bulldogs to two Final Four appearances, three Elite Eight berths, eight area championships and four St. Clair County Tournament titles. Mattison was named the 2005 Northeast Regional Coach of the Year and was a four-time St. Clair County Schools Coach of the Year. From 1985 to 2002, Mattison went 2015-13 as coach of the Steele Junior High volleyball team with 13 county championships.
Greer considers Mattison as the “Donny Pruitt of volleyball’ in terms of coaching success and reputation.
“We are just ecstatic that the Lord sent Denise to us,” said Greer. “The fact that we had that quality of a volleyball with Denise’s credentials just to consider coming here is incredible. We were excited just that she was going to coach, but for her also to be teaching full time is just a bonus. Our girls’ programs are really looking amazing when it comes to coaching for next year.”
Greer noted that Mattison told her that although she is very relational with her players, there is a line that cannot be crossed.
“That’s perfect for us,” said Greer. “Our school is very relational, but there is a line in that we’re not their buddies or their friends. We’re the adults in their lives that help them to lead a life that is pleasing to the Lord, and Denise is right on track with our vision for training warriors for Christ.”
Mattison, who will be an elementary P.E. aid to Ford, met with the volleyball players this past Thursday (Mar. 18) to explain her philosophy and how she intends to run the program. She said that she would make it clear who will be in charge and what things will and will not be tolerated.
“Mrs. Greer said she wants it to be my program from top to bottom, and that’s how I’m going to run it. We’re going to start with fundamentals and just focus on learning the game. I’m going to be tough on the girls and make them do the things I want them to do. When I get in that gym, I’m going to be loud, but when that practice is over, we’re going to get in a circle and hug up and leave with a smile. I want the girls to be successful on the court, but I want them to be strong in other ways, too.”