buy adidas trainers Aquinas’ Ebenhoe leaves for Waldorf
Aquinas High School has been many things to Bri Ebenhoe.
First, it was the school where she spent her formative high school years before heading to Marquette University. For the past seven years, it’s been her workplace, where she’s taught science at both the middle and high school levels. It’s also been where Ebenhoe honed her craft as a volleyball coach, leading the Blugolds to their first WIAA Division 3 state tournament last fall.
“It was very difficult,” Ebenhoe said Friday of her decision to take a new job. “I love Aquinas and it’s given so much to me. It’s made me the person that I am. Part of that is being someone who embraces new challenges, and that’s what this is.”
Waldorf, a private university of about 700 students in Forest City, Iowa, sits just west of Interstate 35 two hours north of Des Moines, Iowa, and about two hours south of Minneapolis. Ebenhoe’s hiring was announced Friday morning via a university press release.
Ebenhoe has helped build Aquinas into a volleyball power, winning the MVC each of the past two seasons,
leading up to last season’s state run. The Blugolds went 31 5 last year, losing just one set in MVC play, before falling in the state semifinal to eventual champion Howards Grove. She coached four all state selections, 33 all conference players and 16 All Tribune honorees, along with being named the 2014 Tribune Coach of the Year and winning MVC Coach of the Year twice.
Suffice to say, Ebenhoe knows volleyball, and how to coach it. Her prep credentials were a major factor in her earning the Warriors job, but Ebenhoe knows she has areas in which to learn to acclimate herself to the college level.
“Some challenges will be learning the recruiting game and how that goes,” she said. “But I’m really excited for that portion and meeting a lot of great high school players and seeing who fits our vision at Waldorf.”
She’ll also be tasked with helping get the Warriors turned around on the court. Waldorf joined the NSAA the NAIA conference Viterbo University has won the past two season two years ago, and has gone 26 51 overall and 8 16 in conference play over that stretch.
Ebenhoe knows coach Ryan DeLong’s V Hawks will be a tough in conference rival, but she looks forward to matching coaching wits with DeLong. For six years, Ebenhoe has coached the 14 Adidas V Hawk Xtreme club team directed by DeLong.
“Coach DeLong has done a great job at Viterbo building that program, but you want to compete with the best teams in order to become one,
” Ebenhoe said. “So we’re absolutely looking forward to that.”
DeLong said Friday he believes Ebenhoe has the determination needed to be a successful college coach.
“She’s driven. She wants to succeed,” DeLong said. “Waldorf is a tough place to recruit to, but I think she’s got the drive, the passion and the ability to succeed there. She always wants to get better, and I think that’s why we’ve always got along so well.”
Ebenhoe was able to tell the returning Blugolds players of the change on Thursday. As tough as the decision was, the chance to be a part of Waldorf’s atmosphere was too good to pass up, she said.
“When I heard about the position and did the research on Waldorf, I learned how the community and the school are so tightly interwoven and driven to achieving excellence, it was a great chance,” she said. “The academic potential and the athletic programs we have make it a special place.”
La Crosse and Aquinas will always be home for Ebenhoe. You can’t erase the history she has with the school and community; you can’t erase the history she and her Blugolds players created on the court.
“The teams that we put together and the way each one of our players cared about each other,” Ebenhoe said of her lasting memories at Aquinas. “Having the mentality of team success over individual, and our team that went to state this year was truly the embodiment of that,
that’s what I’ll always remember.”