Friday, November 16th, 2007
Schwieterman to be in volleyball Hall of Fame
By Gary R. Rasberry
Lori Schwieterman wasn't thinking about being in a hall of fame when she first got into coaching.
Now, over 20 years later, she's a day away from joining an elite group.
The veteran St. Henry coach will be inducted Saturday into the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame.
"I started in 1983 at Ottoville," said Schwieterman. "It just seems like so long ago, but it feels like yesterday. I still keep contact with some of them today.
"I can't say this award is for me, it's really for every player I had the last 25 years."
After stops at Ottoville, Marion Local and Spencerville, Schwieterman came home to become an assistant coach at St. Henry, where she played volleyball for the Redskins under the guidance of DeDe Stoner.
After Stoner won her fifth state title with St. Henry in 1995, she retired and Schwieterman took the reins of one of the top programs in the state.
"That's probably the most special thing about my career, is being able to coach with her and being a part of this program," said Schwieterman. "I think of St. Henry volleyball and you think of DeDe. Just having the opportunity to take over this program and keeping it to the level that she had it. That's real important."
When thinking that now she will join Stoner, who was inducted in 1994, in the Hall of Fame, Schwieterman is emotional.
"It's just unbelievable to be part of that group. It's a privilege, really," said Schwieterman. "To be in there with DeDe is just so special. I don't think there's another player-coach pair in there. To share that with her is just something special."
Schwieterman worked hard at keeping the program strong as Stoner did. In her first year, the Redskins were back in the state finals, losing in the title game. The first season also saw Schwieterman win her first of 10 straight Midwest Athletic Conference titles - eight being outright titles. The Schwieterman-led Redskins also won 11 sectional titles, six district and five regional titles. In 2003, St. Henry again was state runners-up, but a year later, Schwieterman won her first state title as a head coach - and the sixth for the program - in beating Norwalk St. Paul for the Division IV title.
Schwieterman has not worked on her speech for Saturday, but she definitely knows who she'll be thanking.
"It's going to be more about thanking my players, thanking my family and thanking DeDe," said Schwieterman. "That's the three main parts of my coaching career. Obviously without the players, you don't have the wins. I've had tremendous players throughout my career, from Ottoville to when I coached at Spencerville and especially here at St. Henry. My family, with their support, you can't do it without them, that's for sure. DeDe, she's been there through everything. Those three things are the things I have to be thankful for.
"It all comes down to work ethic. The harder (the players) work, the harder you want to work for them. The more you want success for them. That's what you have at St. Henry. A tremendous community, a tremendous backing from the parents. It's a really special program. For me to be a part of it is tremendous. It's a privilege to coach at St. Henry. It's not something I deserve, it's something that I've been lucky to be a part of."
• 10 MAC titles
• 11 Sectional titles
• 6 District titles
• 5 regional titles
• 2 state runners-up (1996, 2003)
• 2004 Division IV state champs
• 335-104 as coach (St. Henry,