43-year-old Gehrig Stone-Awong is the Co-Director of the Desert STARS 16U Volleyball Club. Though he works full-time as a Senior Logistics Specialist for Ports America, his love of the game keeps him close to the net. He not only runs the program, which services Maricopa, Tempe, Gilbert and Yuma, he helped found it.
“I am looking forward to successfully nurturing youth in volleyball throughout our community,” wrote our Coach of the Week. “We continue to plan for the future but it takes one step at a time.”
Coach Gehrig’s introduction to coaching began in high school in Boise, Idaho. Like many schools at the time, a boy’s volleyball team was not offered. Instead he volunteered for the girls’ head coach. You see, Coach Gehrig lived in Hawaii previously and was an active volleyball player.
“I found that using my experience playing in Hawaii gave me a strong foundation to assist the coach in Boise,” explained Coach Gehrig.
Introduced to Volleyball at a young age, Coach Gehrig recently began coaching and volunteering after a few years away from the game. He started out assisting female clubs and high school teams and now has his hands full with the STARS. With the successful creation of the private club, coach Gehrig has made extra efforts to instill both educational and athletic performance goals. Their mission is as follows:
School first with the focus on Teamwork. Attitudes that are developed so players show Respect for one another demonstrating Sportsmanship throughout the season.
Coach Gehrig wrote, “I want to share the passion I have for this sport with young players, guiding them to achieve their fullest potential as an athlete.”
A father of four, Coach Gehrig has already passed down his enthusiasm for volleyball to his eldest daughter, Ghvyn, who now attends college in Idaho. He hopes his three younger children (Devin 11, Ashlyn 8 and Andrew 7) will also embrace the sport as they participate in athletics. That being said, Coach Gehrig has made it clear that he will continue to play and share the joys of volleyball to others throughout his adult life.
Coach Gehrig’s Keys to Success:
My principle philosophy is based on teaching players the basics.
They cannot move forward without this foundation.
I want players to be their best coach and recognize what they need to change to improve and be the best they can be.
The bottom line: it’s a game, so play hard, play to enjoy and have fun!
Coach Gehrig we’re happy to have a dedicated and passionate coach like you on Weplay. You are wonderful resource to the volleyball community.