LEWIS GEYER / TIMES-CALL
After a one-year hiatus to deal with health and family concerns, coach Holli Stetson is returning to the Longmont volleyball program.

 

LONGMONT — When she stepped away from coaching volleyball, Longmont High School luminary Holli Stetson wasn’t sure how long it would be until her personal life and prep volleyball realigned.

While she desired an eventual return to the sideline, Stetson and coaching reunited sooner than she could have guessed. After a one-year hiatus, Stetson will be back at the helm of Longmont High School’s highly successful volleyball program for the 2015-16 season.

The break was necessary. But one of Colorado prep volleyball’s most iconic figures couldn’t stay away for long.

“I still teach there so it’s something that feels right,” Stetson said. “I miss the kids and the coaching staff tremendously and being a part of their daily lives. Every year is a little bit unique and a lot of the kids still know me from two years ago. I’m very optimistic about the kids we have coming back and LHS is a great place to be. I feel really lucky to have this opportunity again.”

Over her 10-year tenure as Longmont High’s head volleyball coach, Stetson compiled a 203-69 record and established the Trojans as perennial state title contenders in Class 4A. The Trojans won the 4A Northern League title in her final three seasons and reached the 4A state tournament in each of her final four.

Stetson resigned last April after a physically and emotionally draining season during which her father, Lyons High School teacher and former basketball coach Gerry Boland, was killed in the devastating floods of September 2013. The family’s home was also completely destroyed and Stetson felt it was necessary to step away from coaching to help get her family’s lives back on track and to deal with personal health concerns — which included partial replacement surgery in both knees.

Now with her health improved and her daughter and assistant coach Nikki Stetson getting married in the spring, Holli Stetson is excited to be coaching once again under more positive circumstances.

“There were so many other things going on in my life that if I didn’t put something down, everything was going to fall apart,” Stetson said. “I wasn’t in a good place physically, mentally and emotionally with the passing of my father, my mother moving in with us and my double knee replacement. I was fortunate that I was able to take some time to get everything back in order.”

The Trojans went 12-13 last season under head coach Thomas Hunter, who left Longmont for a job at Poudre High School, which is closer to his home. When the position became open, athletic director Jeremy Burmeister’s search for a replacement became narrower once Stetson made it clear she was ready to return.

“Holli is a great coach who has taken this program on numerous deep playoff runs so we are incredibly excited to have her back,” Longmont athletic director Jeremy Burmeister said. “She was the heart and soul of our program here for 10 years and we couldn’t be happier to have her back as our head coach.”

Also needing to fill the void left by the resignation of softball coach Randy Woodson, Burmeister has hired Longmont High School graduate Kelsey Walters to take over the program. The Trojans went 15-22 in two seasons under Woodson and Walters will be the team’s fifth coach in the last six years.

“With regard to softball, we’re excited to have Kelsey,” Burmeister said. “She’s an alumnus of Longmont High and she played college ball so she should bring us some continuity that we really need. One of the things we really liked about Kelsey was her passion for the program and a desire to see things through. She’ll do a great job.”

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