Lost last week among all the basketball hoopla was the departure of longtime Bearcat volleyball coach Reed Sunahara. At a time when Bearcat volleyball is routinely making national noise, Coach Sunahara was the architect who brought the program to that level of stature.
For those of you who might not know his background, Coach Sunahara came to Clifton back in 1997 as the top assistant to then-head coach Laura Alford. He took over as head coach for the 2000 season and never looked back from there. He's the winningest coach in the Bearcat program, led the Bearcats to two BIG EAST Conference titles and the conference tournament championship. Before that the 'Cats were regulars at the top of the Conference USA standings.
I've had the chance to interview Coach Sunahara a couple of times--the last time, just a few weeks ago as the Bearcats prepared to go into the conference tournament. You can listen to the interview here, courtesy of WVXU. We talked about the growth of high school volleyball, as well as his success on the collegiate level, and how the Greater Cincinnati area was blessed to have so many good girls, as well as boys, volleyball teams in high school.
But before that, he was a panelist on an event we had on UC's campus for the Special Olympics of Hamilton County. Each panelist was asked a question from the audience, and Coach was asked what he thought his greatest accomplishment was. No surprise, it wasn't a conference championship or a win over a heated rival. He said, "When I see our student-athletes graduate as accomplished, poised adults, that's my biggest accomplishment."
It's been a lot of fun watching the UC women's volleyball team have big accomplishments over the last 15 years, with Reed Sunahara leading the way. We wish you all the best in the future, and we're sure you'll have many more big accomplishments down the line.