Pardon Megan Nation if she’s been on Cloud Nine lately.
It’s just been a very, very good week.
Nation, a 2001 La Salle-Peru graduate, got engaged last Wednesday while in Florida, and nearly a week later she was officially hired as the new Hall volleyball coach at Thursday’s Hall Board meeting.
“There’s a lot going on right now,” Nation joked. “I’m very excited about everything. I’ve been smiling from ear to ear for at least a week now.”
Nation takes over the Lady Red Devils program from former coach Amanda Coutts, who resigned this winter after one season as coach.
Nation is the fifth Hall volleyball coach in the last six years.
“I know the history of the program, which was very, very strong,” she said. “When I played (in high school), Hall was very, very good, and my goal is to bring it back to where it used to be in the late 1990s and early 2000s.”
After Nation graduated from L-P in 2001, she played at IVCC for two years under head coach Laurie Polte and assistant coach Julie Sherbeyn. Nation played her final two years of college at Benedictine University.
She later served as a graduate assistant at North Central College and was the head volleyball coach at Aurora University from 2010-12 before returning to the area.
She’s spent this winter coaching a 16-and-under team for the Illinois Valley Volley Power. It’s Nation’s third season overall with IVVP.
The position at Hall is the first time she’s ever coached a high school team.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity,” Nation said. “I didn’t plan to come back and coach high school or college volleyball. I was just coaching IVVP when I found out both the Ottawa and Hall positions were open. I applied for them both not thinking I’d get either of them. Turns out, I got a call back and I’m just excited to coach a high school team. I am really looking forward to it. I think it will be a great experience for me.”
Last season, the Lady Red Devils went 5-27 under Coutts in their final season in the Tri-County Conference.
“I don’t know any of the girls so I am kind of going into it blind, but I do know Laurie Polte very, very well and I do know Dani Zellmer, who coached at Hall,” Nation said. “I also know (current IVCC coach) Julie Sherbeyn who was one of my coaches in the past.”
Nation was informed by Hall athletic director Eric Bryant nearly two weeks ago that her name would be submitted to the Hall Board.
As a player in IVVP, Nation was coached by Bryant’s two older sisters, Bernadette and Carolyn.
Nation was also coached by current L-P coach Mark Haberkorn, but unfortunately the schools will not play one another next season.
“I was really looking forward to (coaching against Haberkorn), but we are not playing them next year,” Nation said. “I hope we get to play them at some point. That would be pretty exciting.”
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.