WXHS volleyball welcomes new coachSep 02, 2022 11:39AM ● By Catherine Garrett
With WXHS volleyball coach Nicole Hogan stepping down this spring, longtime Woods Cross resident Josey Hilton had a simple thought: “I hope they find a good coach.” Despite Hilton’s background in the sport and having lived in the city for more than 20 years, she was going into her fourth season as the head coach at Brighton and had no plans to leave.
“We had just finished eighth in 5A and I was so invested into bringing the pride of the Bengals back into the volleyball program,” she said, also noting the development league she began there for sixth through eighth graders. “But, the scenario kept bothering me and I ended up having a great interview and conversation where I literally felt very at home. I decided it was time to give back to the community where my kids went to school and were raised.”
Hilton played volleyball at Mountain Crest High “back in the side-out scoring era,” and then was out of the sport for several years before playing in some recreational leagues and being exposed to the idea of coaching. She started coaching club volleyball with the Club V and Hive programs and got into the high school ranks beginning in 2012 when she was an assistant at Hillcrest. Two years later, she went to Copper Hills where she was part of turning around the Grizzlies program into a prominent program in the state. And then in 2018, she took her first head coaching job at Brighton.
“Volleyball is such a great sport and there are so many life lessons you can learn from playing like accountability, conflict resolution, working with different personalities and figuring out situations,” Hilton said. “So, I really consider myself more of a teacher than a coach.”
Former Woods Cross volleyball player Dallas Horn, who graduated in 2011, joins Hilton on the new staff as the junior varsity coach. She went on to play at Central Wyoming College where she was part of the Rustlers team reaching a No. 11 national ranking. She has coached volleyball in the club ranks with Club V and Kongo.
The new WXHS sophomore coach will be former Bountiful High player Kennedy Poulton who was part of back-to-back state championships with the Braves in 2015 and 2016. She also played collegiately at Utah State-Eastern, helping the Eagles to a historic NJCAA Tournament appearance. She has been coaching club volleyball with the Hive program as well as giving private lessons.
“As coaches, we want to create an environment where our players can be safe and happy and let go of issues which can make such a difference to just one or two players, making it so worth it,” Hilton said. “And in helping them understand how to manage play on the court, we recognize that in order to be better mistakes need to happen and questions need to be asked.” λ