After the most difficult season of her resoundingly successful 10-year run at Longmont High took a significant toll on her health, Holli Stetson has decided to step aside.
Stetson, the veteran head coach of the Trojans’ highly regarded volleyball program, resigned last week in a move that surprised athletic director Andrea McBreen, despite the list of physical afflictions that have assailed Stetson in recent months.
Stetson’s recent physical troubles have come on the heels of a tragic autumn for her family during which Stetson’s father, longtime teacher and former Lyons basketball coach Gerry Boland, was killed during the September floods that also completely destroyed the family’s Lyons home.
“I didn’t really want to do this but I have to get this train back on the tracks,” Stetson said. “I’m doing this for my health and for my family. I need to get my health back on track and there is just so much to tie up with my family’s property and what will happen with all that. So much still has to be attended to there.”
little more than a month after Boland was lost in Lyons, Stetson led the Trojans into the Class 4A state tournament to cap what would be her 10th and final season at the helm of the Longmont program.
In November, shortly after the season, Stetson endured partial replacements of both knees to help alleviate chronic pain she has dealt with for years. It was a procedure she scheduled the previous July, never considering how her life would be turned upside down before the volleyball season was complete. Admitting she probably returned to her teaching post too quickly, Stetson suffered a painful setback with her knees and returned home for another spell.
After returning yet again, Stetson was waylaid by pneumonia around spring break and once again was sidelined. Accepting that part of her physical travails have stemmed from how worn down she was emotionally and psychologically from her family’s tragedy last fall, Stetson decided it was time to slow things down and turn the Longmont volleyball program over to more capable hands.
Stetson didn’t rule out a return to the sideline down the road, but for now her health and family will remain her priorities.
“I will miss it very much. The relationships I’ve developed with the kids and the support I’ve received from the parents has been an incredible experience,” Stetson said. “I care deeply for these girls and I’m happy how our staff has been able to positively influence so many girls. I love Longmont and didn’t want to have to do this. There’s no ill will or any dramatic story. I just need to get back on track with my health.”
Stetson, who will retain her teaching position, compiled an overall record of 203-69 during her 10 years at Longmont while forging the Trojans program into a perennial Class 4A state contender. McBreen said the job already has been posted, and that ideally a new coach will be in place by the middle of May.
“It was a bit of a shock. I’m disappointed to lose her, but she has to get healthy,” McBreen said. “She will never truly be replaced. But hopefully we’ll find the right person to keep Longmont volleyball program among the best in the state.”
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