Enid Volleyball has a new varsity head coach this year with Gabriel Watts taking over the helm. Watts spent the last two years coaching the junior varsity team and will take control of the varsity team for the first time in 2022. Watts is excited for the opportunity and has formed a bond with many of the players over the years and has watched their careers grow since their days as underclassmen.
“Three of the five seniors [this year] started with me as their JV coach,” Watts said.
His focus going into this season is to build and leave a lasting legacy through leadership both on and off the court. Watts emphasizes that success in the classroom is a priority and wants to see his student-athletes find a balance between athletics and academics.
“My expectations this season is to grow as a team, and be more successful than the previous year. We have a solid chance to win the conference and bring home an Academic State Championship,” Watts said.
To keep his players motivated, Watts likes switching things up in practice.
“We talk everyday about the important role each of the seniors play in building something they would be proud to leave behind. We’re incorporating a lot of new drills to keep practice upbeat, while also being fast-paced.”
For Watts, the key to being successful comes from understanding roles.
“Each player needs to understand their specific role, be self aware, and know what they need to work on to help the team as a whole,” Watts said.
Watts thanks his wife for inspiring him and keeping him motivated.
“She ran a very successful swim program at Enid High. I would see how the athletes would gravitate toward her, and how much she loved every single one of her athletes,” Watts said. “One of the things I pride myself on, in the classroom, is relationship building. I knew if given the chance I could bring that to an athletic team.”
When Watts isn’t in the classroom, gym, or attending other Enid High School activities, you can probably find him spending time with his wife and two boys, aged nine and six.
“We have a travel trailer and plan to visit all 50 states before our oldest graduates high school. We only have 41 more to go,” Watts said with a laugh.