Always a Monarch: The Value of Alumni Coaches


Mackenzie Savage, Class of 2016

Riley McNair, Rina Okuda

Imagine your ideal coach. Someone who has been in your shoes, played your sport, or attended your school… oh wait. Many student athletes at Mitty have been lucky enough to work with program alumni, whether it be on Zoom or on the field. Training with alumni gives student athletes a chance to learn something new and develop a deeper love for the program as a whole. 

A member of the varsity football and track teams, junior Julian Shearin-Sewell recognizes that a large benefit of training with alumni is their love for the program, and because of this, “it makes the experience a lot more memorable and makes you think about coming back to do the same.” Coach Sam Tomlitz, Mitty football coach and alumnus, loves getting back on the field, saying, “the players and coaches get the chance to spend time together,  build bonds outside of a computer screen, and alleviate some pent up stress”.

Junior Natalie Hernando, who runs cross country, talks about her experience with her alumnus coach, Nyrie Courtis, saying, “she’s always encouraging and pushes us to do our best”. These alumni have also run the same routes when they were students, so it gives student athletes someone to relate with when times get tough. 

Through working with the alumni, senior Jenna McNelly, a Mitty volleyball player, is “reminded of the legacy of Mitty volleyball. It pushes us to do our best and carry on the program’s tradition of excellence. It’s fun to learn from someone who has been in your position, and they have a lot to teach us as players”. Recently, alumni who have played at the collegiate level such as Skyleur Savage, Mackenzie Savage, Merlin Kolte, Gabriella Carta-Samuels, and Tessie Powers have volunteered their time to work with the volleyball program. 

Pandemic or not—coaches want to relate to their players and foster a positive training environment. Bringing in alumni coaches is just another way to strengthen the heart of the program and uplift spirits amidst the challenges of COVID-19.