Getting to know head coach Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre

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First-year head coach Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre is finding her coaching style. Photo by Nicholas Wire / el Don

The new era of volleyball has begun with first year head coach Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre.  At 28, Kunipo-Aguirre brought a fresh style to Bill Cook Gymnasium.

Her background is fairly short, as she first started playing volleyball when she was 14. Despite first stepping on the court as a freshman, she found that she was a natural at the game. She started all four years at Carson High School. 

After high school, she came to Santa Ana College to join the volleyball program, in which she played two years of volleyball and beach volleyball. 

While at SAC, she played under previous head coach Troy Abbey. He taught her to never underestimate herself and be confident that she belonged on the court. He also taught her to put in hard work and daily give her best effort, affirming that it would help her succeed in volleyball.  

“My coaching experience is little, because I’ve only been an assistant coach,” said Kunipo-Aguirre. 

Her goal is to bring a new feel to the team. She wants to use her knowledge of the game to help her players get a better understanding of what she expects from them this season. 

“Coach Troy proposed the idea of me being a coach,” said Kunipo-Aguirre.” He told me that he saw the coaching aspects and characteristics in me and I decided to give it a try.”

As well as incorporating things she has learned herself as a player to the team. So they could learn a thing or two from her experience in the SAC volleyball program. 

The struggle of being a new head coach is finding identity in how she coaches.

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“I’m still finding out what kind of coach I am,” said Kunipo-Aguirre.

Sometimes she needs to yell in criticism, other times she must be a constant calming presence of encouragement. Her journey in finding that balance could only come with experience and time. She saw a glimpse of that as an assistant coach last year. 

 “I want to be able to prepare them for what is coming next and help them grow as a person so they can reach their potential.  Also, I want them to develop an effective work ethic because I believe that it will help them in their professional and personal lives.” said Kunipo-Aguirre. 

The women’s volleyball team ended the season at 6-17 overall and 4-12 in conference.

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