Coaching always appealed to Courtney Traylor.
The Granbury, Texas, native just didn’t always think it’d be in Oklahoma.
Traylor felt a sense of comfort, however, the first time she addressed the Norman High volleyball team as its new head coach.
“It was really calming,” Traylor said. “It made me feel like I knew where I was supposed to be.”
Traylor, who was hired last month, is still settling into her first head-coaching opportunity.
The Tigers went 5-25 last season, but Traylor sees a program with potential, where she can easily connect with her players.
She attended Southwestern Christian University in Bethany from 2014-18 and was a four-year starter for SCU coach Kristen Coventon.
Traylor spent her first year after college as a graduate assistant on Coventon’s staff. She also coached Rise Volleyball Club in Edmond.
Her experience is limited, but Traylor sees a benefit in being a young coach.
“I think me coming fresh out of college, knowing what kids are like these days,” she said, “and being really close to being in their shoes, that I understand them and they can understand me a little better from where I'm coming from because they know that I've been there.
“Where they want to be is college, and that's where I've been, so they want to listen and work hard to get there.”
Dedication put Traylor in her position.
She realized she wanted to coach while still a player at SCU. So, she started soaking in as much information from Coventon as she could.
“I really was learning from her starting my junior year,” Traylor said, “I knew I wanted to be a coach. So, I started observing her a little more because she's someone I really look up to. And our club director [Nikki Dieball] is also a college coach, so I look up to both of them. I just tried to take in as much as I could.”
Traylor says she specifically studied Conventon’s thought process, practice structure and strategy. She asked her head coach simple questions, like what Conventon would tell players after seeing her advice yield positive results on the court.
Rise Volleyball Club furthered Traylor's love for coaching, as well as her comfort in Oklahoma. And she’s happy to call it home a little longer.
“I absolutely think this is a place where I can grow,” Traylor said. “I don't have any plans to leave anytime soon as long as they'll have me.”