published Friday, February 8th, 2013

Mandi Munn adds volleyball to her Red Bank jobs

Red Bank High School softball coach Mandi Munn congratulates her players during a game against Central High School at Warner Park in Chattanooga.
Red Bank High School softball coach Mandi Munn congratulates her players during a game against Central High School at Warner Park in Chattanooga.
By Danielle Moore

Red Bank head softball coach and athletic director Mandi Munn now can add head volleyball coach to her list of duties.

Principal Justin Robertson has confirmed that Munn will be the successor to Christel Brooks, who resigned after last season to spend more time with her family.

Munn played softball at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga after her career at Red Bank. But she also played volleyball for the Lionettes.

Munn played for longtime coach Susan Thurman and later became her assistant. She left from helping with the volleyball program shortly after the birth of her son, Caden, but returned last year as Brooks' assistant.

"I just love the sport," Munn said. "Christel gave me the opportunity to get back into it, and I realized I still loved it just as much as before."

Munn calls Thurman and Brooks her mentors in volleyball.

"Everything I know about volleyball, I learned from them," Munn said. "That includes relating to the kids, scheduling, skills and practice -- everything. I don't see anything changing from the way we've been doing things."

Softball tryouts are Monday, so Munn's priorities lie there for now. But just as Thurman was inspired watching her successor -- Red Bank has not had a losing season in volleyball since it became a TSSAA sanctioned sport at the school -- Brooks shares the same enthusiasm.

"I'm excited and anxious to watch," Brooks said. "I think she's just going to keep the tradition of Red Bank volleyball going. She's Red Bank through and through. She's a very hard worker. She's good at organization.

"She was real helpful on the defensive side. She was a defensive specialist herself, so that's kind of her thing. She worked with the passers and the back-row people. She relates well with the girls. They respect her and she's a good motivator."

Last season was the Lionettes' fifth consecutive state-tournament appearance under Brooks' guidance. Two times they appeared in the Class AA state final, wining the title in 2009.

"We have a good core group," Munn said. "We lost three seniors who were a big part of the program, but I think we still could be solid and competitive."

SBA seeks coach

Silverdale Baptist Academy's varsity high school volleyball coach, Rhonda Hawkins, resigned after last season and the school remains in search of someone to guide the program.

Those qualified and interested should contact athletic director Tim Couch at tcouch@silverdaleba.org or at 892-2319 during school hours.

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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