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Rhee Returns to TJ as Varsity Head Coach

Posted 10/07/2015 by Andrew Villescas

Coach Rhee brings much expertise and excitement to the season. photo by Anja Oss

Spartans welcome their new head coach with open arms.

Thomas Jefferson is proud to announce the new head coach for varsity volleyball, former Varsity Assistant coach Erik Rhee. Former Varsity coach Kathleen Nickless still sits by his side as Assistant coach.

Rhee has had plenty of playing and coaching experience throughout his life; his volleyball passion began at Columbia University where he played for the Mens’ team his senior year as a setter. That year the team finished with second place at the Ivy League Championships, losing only to Princeton University, which is nationally ranked.

After college, Rhee moved back to his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, where he began coaching a high school team. During is first year coaching, he broke many school records, marking the best varsity season in the schools’ history. Later, he moved to Colorado, where he began coaching at Sportsbridge, one of the largest corporations to provide children, teens, and adults the opportunity to play in recreational sports. In 2005, after many years of coaching at Sportsbridge, Rhee decided it was time to take his talents elsewhere and he formed 303 Volleyball, one of the biggest multi-aged volleyball clubs in Colorado. In its first year he led his 303 VBC 18 Elite team to a Junior National Championship in Dallas, Texas where the team tied for 21st.

Rhee has shaped his entire life around volleyball, started when he was very young. He has also had a lot of success throughout his career in coaching, and hopes to break more boundaries and achieve more than ever before here at TJ.

Rhee is very excited to get things going this year. Throughout the summer, the Spartans worked hard to prepare for this upcoming season. Macey Murray, sophomore and varsity player said, “Coach Erik is a very strong and efficient coach. He has helped all of us grow as players seeing the court from a different point of view.” Many of the players have grown very fond of him, and really understand and appreciate what he does. Rhee said, “I want the kids to get better, to be good student athletes, good role models in the school.” Rhee so far has led his varsity team to five wins and one loss this season, soon to be playing South High school on Thursday, October 8th for their biggest game of the season.

Rhee’s ability is, without a doubt, very skillful; the team has responded well to this change in coaching position. “Coach Erik oversees everyone’s practices and responds efficiently when they are in need of help,” explained Murray. Rhee is not only the varsity head coach, he is a role model and a friend. The Spartans are looking forward to a record breaking year with Rhee in the lead.