In a one-year span, Kourtney Settle went from volunteer assistant to head coach.
This fall, Settle will take the reins over the Crothersville High School volleyball program.
Settle replaces Linda Luedeman, who coached in the 2015 and ‘16 seasons at CHS.
In her first year of teaching at Crothersville Elementary School last year, Settle helped Luedeman on the sideline.
Settle said Athletic Director Greg Kilgore approached her about the coaching job.
“It kind of got mentioned last year,” Settle said. “I had thought about it, and I thought it would be really cool. It’s different because I’m used to younger kids, but I’m excited about the change of pace.”
Coming into her new role, the first-year coach has experience both on and off of the court.
Settle, a 2012 grad, played four years at Brownstown Central before joining the Franklin College program as a middle hitter.
At Franklin, Settle was an All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference first team member her senior year, finishing second on the team with 330 kills and a .284 hitting percentage while also leading the HCAC with 116 blocks.
She played all four years at Franklin, earning a handful of accolades inside the team and in the HCAC.
Coaching-wise, Settle has experience with travel programs.
“I started coaching volleyball when I was in college,” Settle said. “Up at Team Indiana, I coached for a year, an 11-and-under team. It’s super different than what I’m doing now. I also coached a couple basketball leagues in Brownstown for a couple summers.”
Since taking over, Settle started a summer program for the team.
“It has been good so far,” Settle said. “Summer was a little shaky because they hadn’t really done a summer program before. Coming from Brownstown, I was used to two-a-days all summer, so we got that started. It was a little frustrating at first, but once girls started showing up, it was fun.”
Right now, Settle said she has 16 girls on the roster. She plans on having a junior varsity team despite low numbers.
She said she’s a disciplined coach but tries to find a balance in practices.
“I want it to be fun but while they’re working hard,” Settle said. “The first day, I told them that if they’re going to be coming and ‘jacking around,’ then don’t waste our time.
“I’ve had coaches and assistants before that just don’t make it fun. It’s unrealistic to expect every practice to be fun. If you can make it so it’s fun and hard work, that’s what’s key. It makes them want to keep coming back. You don’t want to burn them out.”
One of Settle’s biggest inspirations for coaching came from Brownstown Central girls basketball coach Karla Rieckers.
“I’ve talked to some of my club coaches, and I’ve also talked to Karla (Rieckers),” Settle said. “I look up to (Rieckers) so much. I know I can learn so much from her coaching techniques. She always built such a great relationship with her players, and I want to have that with my girls, too. I knew I could always go to her and she would listen to me, and I want to be that way for my girls.”
Settle said she’s looking forward to the start of the season.
“I’m having realistic goals,” she said. “I want to see the girls improve and have fun. We have a young team with only two seniors. I’m looking forward to seeing how the girls grow.”
Crothersville will open its season Saturday at Scottsburg with a tri-match with the Warriors and Switzerland County.