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Volleyball Jim Wood named coach

Jim Wood is no stranger to the game of volleyball. Between his days on St. Cloud State University's Men's Club Team and 16 years of coaching the DL Junior Olympic Volleyball program and working with Detroit Lakes High School volleyball players, he knows his bumps, sets, and spikes.

These qualifications are what made him the top pick for the new head volleyball coach.

Former coach Beth Leighton left the position after she and her husband adopted a baby last winter.

"It's always been at the back of my mind to get involved with this program if the opportunity came," Wood said. "The position opened up, I filled out my application, and they said, 'He's the guy.'"

And, as simple as that, Wood's already impressive involvement with DL volleyball went up a notch.

"He knows and understands the game," DL activity director Mitch McLeod said, citing his extensive experience both at STSU, which boasts high-level volleyball, and with local programs.

Wood has already begun drills with the skill training sessions that meet during the summer. Next week he will coach elementary and middle school students during their volleyball camp, and at the end of the month he will start work with the girls volleyball league that plays on Monday nights. Volleyball team practice officially begins a few weeks before their first game this fall.

"I would like to take this program to another level," Wood said of his plans as coach. "My main goal is to win our section."

But it isn't all about winning for Wood, who wouldn't have spent so many years playing a game he didn't enjoy.

"I want the girls in my program to have as much fun as possible, and have them play a level of volleyball that would allow them to play in college if they so wished," he said.

Wood's work with volleyball -- from college to community -- sets an example for the girls of both dedication and obvious love for the sport.

"I expect it to be time-consuming and a ton of fun," he said of his new position. "I'm already having fun, and I'm only a week into it."

Wood is married to Rhonda Wood and has four children, Emma, Sophie, Sully Wood and Jennifer Gall, and works at Dow Acoustics.