He is the most decorated coach in Iowa volleyball history. He has 11 state titles, including four-straight from 2000-2003. His 776 wins ranks fourth all-time in Iowa history. His teams were ranked nationally within the top 10, 10 times. All this led to him earning state coach of the year seven times and national coach of the year in 2003.
But for Tom Keating, looking back on all the accomplishments, none of them stand out. It’s the process of building greatness that he fondly looks upon.
“You know I think the easy answer is the state titles,” the former Dubuque Wahlert coach said. “I look back at the traveling. Whether we were playing in Chicago or Iowa City or Cedar Rapids, just the conversations with the kids and the coaches. Practice was my favorite. You got to see growth, not just skills but competitively and maturity.”
Keating will have another memory created this weekend as he is honored with the 2012 Volleyball Golden Plaque of Distinction Award.
“To be surrounded by good people, good athletes and have the support of your school,” Keating said. “That’s the No. 1 thing.”
Keating now acts as a part of the support group that once made him so successful. He is the principal at Cedar Rapids Xavier, a team that lost in the quarterfinals at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena to Charles City.
He began his journey in volleyball when it was only popular in the metropolitan areas. Now it’s one of the most popular female sports in Iowa, with five classes.
Keating was a major contributor to that growth.
“I know the folks who did the same as me, and how they are just as deserving,” Keating said. “So for me, it’s humbling.”
Hall of fame class
The Iowa Volleyball Hall of Fame welcomes three new members this weekend. Lindsey Kane and Kayla Banwarth, both of Dubuque Wahlert and Shannon Aschoff of Ankeny will enshrined Saturday. With two former Dubuque Wahlert players receiving the honor, it marks the sixth time in the last seven years the hall has inducted a Golden Eagle.
The class will grow by three on Nov. 17 when Marliee Oldorf, Shriley Ryan and Kris Pluegger will be inducted into the IGCA Hall of Fame.
Oldorf coached Lincoln of Stanwood/North Cedar High School from 1971-2010. She won more than 600 games in her career along with a state title. Ryan guided the helm of Mt. Vernon from 1972-2010. She won 829 games as head coach and won three state titles along with 15 conference titles. Plueger started the volleyball program at Wapsie Valley in 1974. Since them she has worked 20 state tournaments, including seven state finals.