Throughout his time spent at Gilmour, Coach Dan Coughlin has brought many student-athletes success as the head of Gilmour’s Strength and Conditioning program. He has also excelled as the head coach of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team.
Coming from a family that was heavily invested in volleyball and having siblings that coached, Coach Coughlin knew that coaching was going to be a part of his life. He started off as the freshman coach at Vermillion High School, and after spending about two years there he was given the opportunity to coach at other high schools including Black River and Buckeye.
It wasn’t until he was a coach at the collegiate level, at Cleveland State he saw a change within his coaching career. Coughlin said that being an assistant coach at the university “changed the way he viewed coaching in that it helped him incorporate a sense of serenity into his style.” As a coach, Coughlin has been able to remain calm in situations when there is a lot of pressure on the team. During these times, he doesn’t yell or get overly emotional, because he doesn’t see that as the best way to guide his players.
Although Coughlin was extremely grateful for the time he spent under his mentor and head coach of the Cleveland State Women’s Volleyball team, Coach Chuck Voss, he made the decision to return back to coaching high school volleyball because he missed teaching the sport.
Now at Gilmour, Coach Coughlin loves the opportunities he has to help coach athletes both on the volleyball court and in the weight room. Coughlin said he loves “how 80% of the student body are athletes at Gilmour,” and that he enjoys “seeing the school rally around all sports whether that be at a football game, tennis match, or track meet.”
Working with each sports team, Coughlin has come to know many of the student-athletes individually. Cultivating close relationships with his athletes has given him an opportunity to better understand the kids he works with. He said “the safe atmosphere within the weight room is a place where all students can decompress and find comfort in talking with me, working out, or spending time with others.”
Coughlin also said that creating tight-knit relationships with his volleyball players has enabled the team to trust in one another. He attributed the team’s dynamic to their Division II State Championship this year.
With having a heavy emphasis on the value of team relationships, Coach Coughlin’s advice to student-athletes “would be to not forget who their teammates are and the people that have invested in them to find success.” It is certain that Coach Dan Coughlin has been supporting many of the athletes at Gilmour, so it’s important to not forget the vital role he plays within the community.