CEDAR RAPIDS — Tom Keating still feels the void.
“I loved coaching, and every day I miss it,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean he will be the next volleyball coach at Cedar Rapids Xavier. Keating said Monday that there is “zero chance” that he will fill the vacancy opened by Barb Sullivan’s resignation.
“Timewise, it isn’t possible,” said Keating, who has been the school’s principal since 2004. “Volleyball is a pretty big commitment, and what I’m doing — that’s a big commitment too. The understanding when I became principal was that I would not coach.”
Before he came to Xavier, Keating was the volleyball coach and athletics director at Dubuque Wahlert. He coached the Golden Eagles to 16 state-tournament appearances, and his 11 championships are the most of anybody in state history.
Xavier volleyball developed into a strong program under Sullivan, who stepped down Friday because she and husband David (an assistant in football and girls’ basketball) are expecting their first child in January. The Saints reached the state tournament in three of Sullivan’s four years.
“I’m elated with where the volleyball program is now,” Keating said. “It has become a priority here.”
The Saints won their first divisional title in school history this season, compiling a 26-12 record. The top two hitters (Kayla Torson and Kasey VandenBosch) return for 2013, as does libero Halle Heying.