From the beginning...
September 23, 2011 | Categories: Blog
By Chris Beerman
My name is Chris Beerman and in late February of this year, I received a call from Tim Kuzma, the business manager with Munciana Volleyball Club inquiring if I'd be interested in a club expansion concept that their ownership group was considering. I had just completed my 3rd year as Assistant Coach at University of Kentucky and my 20th year overall as a collegiate coach. My time at Kentucky was very successful and a lot of fun. The ability to work with my friend Craig Skinner at a great institution and coach incredibly gifted athletes made for a dream coaching situation. But after 20 years, my head and my heart told me I was ready for a new challenge. I have never been a fan of "easy". Instead, I prefer to challenge myself. I've always felt that an individual grows grow so much more as a person by taking the hard road and pushing yourself to be better. Since I played at Ball State and my wife, Marybeth, was an alumnus of Munciana, I have been longtime friends with Mike Lingenfelter and Wes Lyon and greatly respect their success and the excellence Munciana represents in training volleyball players on and off the court. The proposal was for Munciana to expand its' club to Kentucky, and they targeted me to direct the start-up and run the club in Lexington. Why Lexington? Well, Mike Lingenfelter grew up there and Tim's daughter played at Eastern Kentucky University right down the road in Richmond, so both were very familiar with the area and felt a new, all-encompassing club could work in this city. Why me? Wes, Mike and Tim felt that after three years of coaching in the Lexington, I had the right mixture of local knowledge, coaching experience and respect within the community. They were also very familiar with my personality and felt I would be on a mission to make the club a success from day one, matching their competitive goals.I always believe things happen for a reason and this opportunity just felt right for many reasons. I would be able to direct a club and promote my philosophies in coaching, training, developing, and mentoring young people. I would also be able to coach the coaches and establish a more organized grassroots method of introducing the great sport of volleyball to the youth and their parents in Central Kentucky. In addition, I would be able to continue to coach and be around for my daughter Kendall, who is currently a freshman, and my son, Jackson who is in the 7th grade. Spending time with my children and watching them compete in their respective sports through their teenage years is very important to me and something that was becoming more and more difficult for me to achieve as a collegiate coach. Obviously the hardest part of a life decision like this is putting an end to what had been my career throughout my entire adult life. I have so many wonderful memories of winning championships, working with incredible, young adults, competing every day to make my program better, and establishing meaningful, lifelong relationships. The other factor that was critically important in this decision was whether I would be able to financially support my family. I was taking a leap into the unknown. Fortunately, I have never been motivated by money, and after examining the situation my wife and I felt we were positioned to make this career move work. I also knew the club's success or failure would hinge on my expertise and work ethic, and I felt confident that my competitive nature would lead me through this venture as it had in my previous career. You're either standing still or moving forward, so after much consultation with my wife, family and coaching colleagues, I decided to become a full-time club director in the city of Lexington, KY. I was excited and nervous, but completely energized and ready to learn.