Volleyball was one of the first sports added to Delphian's athletic program. John Kertchem began as the assistant coach since he had played a little volleyball on an intramural two-man volleyball team while attending UC Davis in California but he quickly filled the shoes of the head coach and built the Delphian volleyball program into what it is today.
His limited resume gave him the foothold he needed to help get the team going. Meanwhile he was constantly studying and learning more about coaching and the intricacies of the game. He watched "Volleyball 101" on VHS tapes and read and studied up on coaching and team building.
In additional to research, Coach Kertch attended multiple coaching coaching clinics over the years led by some of volleyball's greats including Hall of Famer Jim Coleman, US women's national volleyball head coach Terry Liskevych, Stanford's 5-time NCAA champion winning Coach John Dunning and US gold medalist winner and coach Karch Kiraly.
All his hard work paid off when Coach Kertch led his team to a nineteen season winning streak from 1983 to 2002, at which time the rules of the game were revised. This didn't stop Coach Kertch, though. He revised his coaching and training strategies to again bring the team together, leading them to state championship wins in 2012 and 2013.
In the words of Coach Kertch:
"High School Volleyball is an opportunity: an opportunity to learn what a team really is. To learn that one can operate as an individual within a team and bring improvement and gain for herself, her teammates, her schoolmates and yes, even her school. To learn about trust and respect, personal ethics and hard work, integrity and leadership. That true morale for self and group comes from pushing through barriers and getting things done with demonstrated competence and hard-won production. And that all of this starts with care, commitment and the willingness to demonstrate ability with courage to do so. To find out that one is alive and can live life well and with others, and that where there is adversity, something can be done about it."
Congratulations again, Coach Kertch. Delphian volleyball would not be the same without your dedication and hard work.