Greene takes charge of spikers

G. Sean Kelly

Denise Greene has seven years experience as an assistant at Glenwood Springs High School. During that time, she has had the opportunity to learn the art from a pair of successful girls volleyball head coaches.

Now she gets to put that knowledge to work.

Glenwood Springs High School hired Greene recently to fill the vacancy left by former volleyball coach Michelle Guillot. Prior to Guillot, Sandy DeCrow coached the Demons.

“I think Sandy was really strong in relationships and the importance of those relationships,” Greene said. “Michelle just really knew the game and knew what to do to get the kids going. And she knew what to do to win.”

“She’s mentored under two exceptional coaches and she’s learned through the ranks,” GSHS athletic director Steve Cable said of Greene.

Greene will try to take the positives she learned under both coaches and add in her own strengths, one of the biggest of which is her love of the game.

Greene was a setter for rival Rifle in high school and continued to play club volleyball while attending Colorado State University. She’s been teaching and coaching at Glenwood since college, and plans to work her teaching skills into her role as head coach.

“I just love the game of volleyball and like working with kids,” Greene said. “I come from a teaching background, so I think one of my strengths will be just teaching the game and having the kids understand the game.”

With most of the players back off last year’s regular-season Western Slope League runner-up team, the expectations will be high for Greene and the Demons in 2003. And that’s fine with Greene.

As the freshman coach in 2002, Greene’s team lost just one game and she’s looking forward to those players joining an already solid varsity squad.

“I think the expectations are good,” Greene said. “We have the potential to do really well.”

Glenwood loses All-Western Slope League first-team hitter Alicia Hayes, but returns one of the top duos in the conference in junior setter Celeste Cashel and junior outside hitter Amber Sutherland – both of whom were first-team selections. Leanna Lawson was an honorable mention – the only freshman to garner postseason accolades – and returns in the middle.

“This next year they should be at the top of the league,” Cable said. “There are a lot of good kids back and kids who have played together.”

And, as to graduating from Rifle and coaching at archrival Glenwood?

Greene says not to worry.

“I’ve taught at Glenwood, so those are the kids I know. Those are the kids I’m attached to.”

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