Girls Preparatory School has hired Alfie Dodd as its high school varsity volleyball coach.
Dodd succeeds longtime and state championship-winning coach Paul Brock.
"I know I've got some big shoes to fill," Dodd said. "He's kind of been my mentor, especially in club volleyball. I respect him a lot."
Most of Dodd's coaching background, which spans more than 20 years, comes from club volleyball, although he was head coach at Boyd-Buchanan the past two years. Two seasons ago, led by six seniors, the Class A Lady Buccaneers won the District 5 and Region 3 titles on the way to finishing fifth in the state.
Dodd said his decision to leave Boyd-Buchanan was a difficult one because of his relationships with players and parents.
"This will be a little tougher region," Dodd said of GPS competing in the East/Middle Region in the TSSAA's Division II-AA. "Of course, it's a bigger school. It's a bigger challenge."
Dodd plans to meet with his new team today.
"I do know they have players there that are good," Dodd said. "I can make a good player out of an athlete, as long as they're willing to put in the time with me. I'm not a negative coach. I wouldn't call myself a players' coach, because everybody wants to be tough.
"I just love the game. I love coaching. I love seeing individuals get better. When you see individuals get better, that's when a team comes together."
GPS athletic director Stacey Hill likes that Dodd brings an energetic approach to the position.
"I am pleased that our coaching search has uncovered an individual superior in experience and knowledge of the sport, and we are excited he has accepted the position of head coach," Hill said in a school news release. "We feel great about the wealth of experience he will bring to GPS volleyball."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfree press.com. Follow him on Twitter @KelleySmiddie.