When it comes to achievements on the court, Becky Howlett's resume is packed -- High School All-American, Big West Conference Freshman of the Year, Pac 10 All- Conference, NCAA All-American, and Olympic Festival Team. Now, Moffat County High School volleyball players hope their newly named coach can convey those skills from the sideline.
"Her playing background is excellent," said MCHS Athletic Director Jim Loughran. "Now she gets to learn the other aspect of the sport as a head coach."
Howlett has lived in Craig for seven and a half years. She works at the Shiloh Home and she said she deliberately kept away from the sport she loved while her son, Thorin, grew up.
"Volleyball was such a passion for me that I needed to stay away from it," she said. "My commitments changed from being an athlete to being a mother."
When she found out about the position opening for head coach, Howlett decided Thorin was at the age where should could get back into volleyball.
Next fall she will embark on her first head-coaching career.
"I enjoyed coaching when I worked with the young players who came to our camps in college," she said. "Since I've gone through all levels as a player, I feel I'm able to approach each athlete with empathy."
Howlett's prep career was at Rangeview High School in Denver as well as on a club team that was ranked as high as fifth in the nation. After being recruited by nearly every college in the country, she chose to go to California State University-Fullerton because she wanted to "go near the beach."
After two years at Cal State Fullerton, the program was cut and she transferred to Washington State University to finish out her college career.
"I played in the two conferences that produced the national champion almost every year," she said. "At all levels, I've had very positive and gifted coaches and I've picked up little parts from each."
With the early hiring, Loughran is happy for the program, which didn't have a volleyball coach last year until late in the summer.
"It's nice for coach Howlett, the athletes and me to have been able to find someone this early," he said. "Now they have the summer to get used to each other, the opportunity to have a camp and establish an understanding and feel."
Howlett has been working with the athletes during open gym on Sundays and said she knows a number of them. Now she turns her attention from spiking to drawing up plays.
"I've had my glory days and I don't need to relive them on the court," she said. "I just hope I can help the team have some glory days of its own."
The coaching staff under Howlett will remain the same as the 2002 season with a slight flip-flop as Scot Brown will take over the freshmen and Jennifer Preece will be the