Coach John Herzer has earned the Greater Western Ohio Conference Coach of the Year honors for 2015. He has been at Wayne for six years and with the girls program for the past three.
Herzer said he was shocked to win coach of the year in the GWOC.
“I never thought I was even considered,” said Herzer. “Just to be recognized by your peers and have them say good things about Wayne Volleyball is reward enough for me. Tim Green at Beavercreek is taking that home every year.”
Herzer said there are power houses in the GWOC such as Beavercreek, Centerville, Lebanon and Springboro that all have feeder programs.
“We lost to some of the top teams in the past and it was a little embarrassing,” said Herzer. “I kept my head up, challenged the girls and they are the ones that stepped up to the challenge. The next thing I know the margins of the losses are narrowing. This year we lost to Lebanon by two points. We were honestly competitive in every game. For the first time in years we took a set from Fairmont. They have an All-American there and we held her in check defensively. We ended up losing in four sets by a total of eight points.”
Wayne went from three wins last year to 11 wins this year, and won their first sectional game in at least 10 years.
“Those are the kinds of things that gets the team noticed,” said Herzer. “I don’t look for success for myself. I do this for the girls at Wayne. I am fortunate to coach here. My family supports it and my wife and family are there every game. I think that gets overlooked by many in the stands. Our families give up a lot of family time so I can coach these girls doing something they love”
“We have some really great kids up here and this statement may not mean much to them now, but I absolutely love these kids,” continued Herzer. “When they are disappointed, so am I. I have wiped tears, consoled them off and on the court, and more importantly listened to them. They have done the same for me.”
Herzer had a very unfortunate work accident in the middle of the season last year and was hospitalized for four days. He was released from the hospital at about 2 p.m. and was at Northmont at 5 p.m. to watch his team play.
“I couldn’t coach them, but just seeing them made my day a little brighter,” said Herzer. “They know my expectations are high and when they don’t meet them, I will give them the look. I do my share of chewing them out and I am also the first to pat them on the back.”
Herzer started off with the boys volleyball program and when the program was eliminated in his third year at Wayne, he was then asked to take over the girls program.
“I took over after two legends in high school volleyball in Bob Day and then Monte Mosier,” said Herzer. “I saw they didn’t have the most successful seasons and my ego has me believing that I can make things better. My first year with the girls I matched Monte’s previous year record wise and felt pretty good about myself. I was one victory away from matching Bob Day’s best year and that has kept me motivated.”
Herzer has been coaching volleyball for over 10 years, coaching first with the Air City Boys Club and then moved to Air City Chicks in Centerville. He has been to numerous coaching clinics and said he has watched and learned from college All- Americans and professional volleyball players.
“I have a passion for it,” he said.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com