West earns place in S.D. Volleyball Hall of Fame
Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:07am admin
Mike West, Philip, has been honored by the South Dakota Volleyball Coaches Association, which inducted West into the SDVBCA Hall of Fame.
West was publically recognized during the 2017 South Dakota State Volleyball Tournament, Nov. 18, in Rapid City. This recognition was aired that evening on South Dakota Public Broadcasting System.
West recalled that, once, the Philip Lady Scotties volleyball team competed at the state volleyball tournament in six consecutive years. “We traveled all over the state, often the only small school among all other AA teams,” said West. “We often had 30-plus wins in a 40-match season. We were competitive.”
Jo Auch, SDVBCA assistant executive director, announced West’s achievement and presented him the plaque. The SDVBCA is made up of 180 member schools.
The plaque reads, “Mike West is one of the true pioneers in the sport of volleyball in South Dakota. He contributed to the growth of the game in a very concrete way, as well as in a very caring and passionate way. When volleyball was initially being established in South Dakota, Mike was at the forefront. He was passionate about the sport, and, as he developed his program in Philip, it became the gold standard for the area.
“He sponsored many mini-camps for area schools. Coaches and players alike were sponges when it came to listening to him about volleyball. An area coach told me that if Mike was speaking at the coaches clinic, the SDVBCA clinic, and if there was a choice as to whom to listen to, Mike was the one they chose. They liked his ideas.
“In the early 1980s, many schools hadn’t started a program yet, so his leadership at the time in western South Dakota was integral to the growth of the sport. His teams were invited to play in various parts of the state, many times being the only “A” school at the time to do so. He brought this interest and passion with him during his tenure as a volleyball representative on the SDHSAA (South Dakota High School Activities Association) advisory committee as well.
“Mike started the program in Philip in 1988. He was at the helm for 13 years, leading them to a Class A state championship in 1996 and a state runner-up in 1997. His coaching record while at Philip was 315-89. Mike was the SDVBCA Coach of the Year in 1996. One thing you cannot put on paper is his respect for the game and his caring attitude about his players. You could visibly see how much the girls loved to play for him.”