published Friday, March 8th, 2013

Brian Wood heads Lady Irish volleyball

Notre Dame High School recently hired Brian Wood to head its volleyball program.

Wood played volleyball in high school and college. He said he started his coaching career about 10 years ago as a high school assistant in Florida, where he also ran a club team.

Wood has remained involved with club volleyball since moving to the Chattanooga area a year ago. With four high school head coaching jobs coming open at the end of last season, he had some options but accepted Notre Dame's offer.

"I'm looking forward to building the program at Notre Dame. They're hungry for championships. They haven't won a title since 2006," Wood said of the Lady Irish's only state championship in the sport. "You can tell the students, the administration and the players are behind volleyball.

"I'm happy to be able to take over those reins at Notre Dame. Within a couple of years I expect us to be waving championship banners inside the gym."

Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga player Paula Passmore, a two-time Southern Conference libero of the year, will be Wood's assistant and concentrate on defensive alignments. She also will become an assistant to Notre Dame athletic director Howie Sompayrac, starting next school year.

"Particularly what excites me is that Brian has an incredible volleyball pedigree and great character. Both he and Paula are top level," Sompayrac said. "They have a very enthusiastic and positive coaching style that the kids really respond to.

"Landing two coaches of Brian's and Paula's caliber I feel like is a complete home run for our volleyball program."

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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