Nov. 21, 2011
Caitie Watts has been named varsity volleyball coach at Columbus North High School.
Watts, 26, an athletic trainer and facility manager at Acceleration Indiana-Columbus for the past 2 1/2 years, is in her fifth season a coach for the Hoosierland Volleyball Club of Bloomington, Ind. She also spent one season as an assistant coach for the Columbus East High School program.
"I am very excited," said Watts, a two-time all-state player during her playing days at Columbus East. "To come into a program that has great talent, to get in and improve on that, to help it reach its full potential. There isn't any reason for us not to up the level and get us to where it should be. ... I don't see why there couldn't be a sectional title."
A 2004 graduate of Columbus East, Watts was a three-time all-Hoosier Hills Conference selection, a two-time All-Area Player of the Year as chosen by The Republic and a three-time All-Area pick for the Olympians. As a senior in 2003, her Columbus East East squad made the Class 4A state final four.
Watts went on to play three seasons of NCAA Division I volleyball -- two at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and one at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. She averaged 5.12 assists per game in 2004 at Miami, 5.71 assists per game in 2005 at Miami and 4.86 assists per game in 2006 at IU.
"Caitie's enthusiasm for volleyball is evident," Columbus North athletic director Jeff Hester said. "That accompanied with her playing background and experience at competing at a high level will make her a great fit at Columbus North. She has worked with a number of high-level players during her time in coaching."
Watts was an assistant volleyball coach in 2008 at Columbus East and has served as an HVC 18-1s assistant coach and the HVC 16-1s head coach. She currently assists the HVC setter training and serves on the club's administrative DIG (develop, inspire, grow) Team.
She noted there are both similarities and differences in coaching at the high school and club levels.
"The difference between club volleyball and high school volleyball is the time commitment," Watts said. "With club, we practice only three times per week. With high school, it's every day plus two-a-days in the summer. With club, it's a couple tournaments every month. With high school, it's often two matches per week plus a weekend tournament."
Prior to college, Watts was a setter for the Orange Crush, SCIVA and Circle City club programs in addition to earning four letters at Columbus East. In high school, she was selected to the East Honor Roll all four years and twice was chosen for National Honor Society.
An all-around athlete, Watts was a two-year letterwinner basketball in high school. More recently, she completed the 2010 Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 33 minutes, 27 seconds.
Watts earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from IU in 2008. She is a registered member of USA Volleyball, IMPACT volleyball certified through USA Volleyball and a Level II Certified Sports Trainer through Athletic Republic.
Watts succeeds Megan Shaff as the Bull Dogs' volleyball coach. Shaff resigned earlier this month after compiling a 142-96 record over seven seasons, including an 18-16 mark and third-place Conference Indiana finish in 2011.