After three years with the athletic department, volleyball head coach Daniel Rasay will be stepping down from his position in search of new opportunities.
As a former member of the University of Hawaii volleyball team, that won a national championship in 2002, Rasay began his position here at Mills with high expectations.
“The previous season had not won a set and I saw it as a challenge,” said Rasay. “I saw it as a challenge to improve the program and build.”
Themy Jo Adachi, director of athletics, recreation and physical education program here at Mills, said that the decision to hire Rasay was an easy one.
“He was by far the person with the most teaching expertise in volleyball that we interviewed,” said Adachi. During the three seasons in which Rasay was head coach, the team won their first two matches in 2006, four matches in 2007, and six matches in 2008.
Although there were run-ins with various problems, including injuries and scheduling, Rasay says he found the experience valuable because of his team.
“The thing that amazed me about our team is that they’re so close.they work so hard for each other so that at practice there’s a mutual respect,” said Rasay.
Rasay told his team of his decision in January and although most of the members accepted his decision, some were shocked.
“He came in my year,” said junior Alissa Chasten, who has played all three seasons since her freshwomen year. “I just feel like he should have stuck it out.”
Other members understand his decision. “As a senior about to graduate, I understand that sometimes you need to move on and follow your dreams,” said senior Loke Davis. Davis has been on the volleyball team for all four years of her college career and played with Daniel for three years.
Rasay states that one of his main concerns had to do with competition. “I think it’s just my time to move on because of my competitive nature and a desire to coach athletes of a higher skill level and see what I can do at a Division I level,” said Rasay.
The Mills athletics program operates under the Division III category, which is designated to schools that do not award athletic scholarships.
With this in mind, Rasay will be applying for assistant coach positions at the Division I level while also attending school for his master’s.
“Daniel was an extremely competent coach but I think what I will miss is how much from him as a person,” said Adachi. “I’m very sad to see him go but I also know it’s the right thing for him to take the next step in his career.”
Adachi says the department is attempting to hire a new volleyball coach by the end of May. Although Rasay is excited for the new opportunities, he admits that, “there’s a lot of people – a lot of athletes and coworkers I’ve created bonds with that I’ll miss seeing on a daily basis.”