End of an Era: the Retirement of Coach O’Laughlin After 19 Seasons

Volleyball coaching legend, Mrs. O’Laughlin, recently coached her last girls’ volleyball game. After 19 seasons of coaching, she put in her last game alongside her team. Although retiring, Mrs. O’Laughlin’s legacy both on and off the court will forever have an impact. Mrs. O’Laughlin’s coaching career first started a year after she finished playing volleyball at California State University in 1996. She enjoyed playing just as much as she loved coaching and being a recruiting coordinator, which pushed her towards starting coaching at Fenwick. Mrs. O’Laughlin says that she originally became a coach at Fenwick because she “missed the game and wanted to be involved in it again. Fenwick had a strong program and I really wanted to be apart of that.” From there, her career launched, forever changing Fenwick’s volleyball program.

Coach O’Laughlin got to experience her last four years on the court with her daughter, Shannon. “Coaching with Shannon was a lot of fun. We had more good times than challenges. It was really fun to coach her. She’s been with Fenwick and its culture for a long time, so she knew the expectations.” Additionally, Mrs. O’Laughlin’s sister and friend were helping coach, so they “didn’t have that direct mother-daughter relationship on the court.” Shannon shares that having her mom as her coach was the highlight of her high school career. “My gratitude and love for her is unmeasured, and I am unbelievably lucky to have had the opportunity to play for her these last four years.”

When asked what will be missed most, Shannon shares the incredible bond between her and her mom that she will miss. “She always knows how to keep me focused on the game and how to calm me down when I need it. I think I speak for any players that has worked with my mom when I say she will be insanely missed.” Everyday, she impacted the girls, fueling their passion and love for the game. Similarly, Coach O’Laughlin says that she will miss seeing the players every day. “Good or bad day, that was always a highlight. Just getting to interact with them was exciting.”
Even though Mrs. O’Laughlin is leaving the court, her coaching, attitude, and lovefor the game and players will never be forgotten. She will continue to spread her incredible legacy and has forever changed the sport for so many Friars. Although retiring from coaching, she will continue to support the team, and will always be Coach O’Laughlin.