May 10, 2011
Recently, men's volleyball assistant coach Theo Edwards sat down with the media relations staff to talk about the Matadors' 2011 season. Edwards just concluded his first season the Northridge coaching staff after lettering for the Matador men's volleyball team from 2007-10.
Now that your first season on the bench is over, how has it been making the transition from player to coach?
"It's been a learning experience. Learning from coach Campbell and getting comfortable with his coaching style as his assistant rather than as his player. Taking my skills and plugging them in as needed has been the fun yet challenging part of the job."
What were your thoughts on the 2011 Matador Season?
"The 2011 team was a very talented team although our record didn't reflect the level this team was able to play at. With a lack of leadership and experience it was a tough season but I think this team has a lot of promise for the future."
What were your emotions throughout the season as Northridge went from the magical Final Four run in 2010 to one of the tougher seasons in 2011?
"I have to admit it was difficult at times to keep my cool. Coming off a great season last year, my natural reaction was I expect us to win. I had to continue to remind myself that this isn't the same team as in 2010."
From a coaching standpoint, what players made an impact this season?
"A major impact this season came from Matt Stork. Normally recognized as a setter, Matt switched to outside hitter halfway through season and proved that he could be a top hitter in the league."
What did you learn in your first season on the coaching staff?
"To list what I learned this season would almost be impossible, but I learned a lot of key things. Players who compete for five years at this level without a doubt understand this game. Being able to teach and translate the game to your players is a different story. As the season went on I got a lot better at gathering my thoughts and teaching the game to my players. As my career goes on I will continue to learn from coach Campbell and take my coaching abilities to the next level."
How do you approach a match as a coach that was different from your playing days?
"Approaching games as a coach is much more complex than as a player. As a player I would get prepared by focusing on my responsibilities and no one else's. As a coach I prepare by understanding what our opponents will do and then helping our team execute."
How will the Matadors turn things around in 2012?
"After a long season what we can take away from this year is experience. Our guys have plenty of talent and now that we know what it takes we will definitely be better than we were last season. Not to mention the strong recruiting class we are bringing in."
Can you give us an update on what some of your former teammates are up to?
"Eric Vance and Kevin McKniff are both finishing up their seasons playing professionally overseas. Jack Ratajczak is graduating this year and was offered an opportunity to train with the national team. Ali'i Keohohou is currently an assistant coach at Newbury Park High School and Mike Gaudino is an assistant coach at Harvard-Westlake High School. So the entire graduating class from 2010 season is staying around the game."