The Kenston High School Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Christian Jolley as its next volleyball head coach. The announcement was made by Athletic Director Reid Guarnieri following the approval of Jolley’s hire by the Kenston Board of Education at Monday’s monthly meeting (March 15).
Guarnieri and high school Principal Tom Gabram recommended the hire of Jolley to the Board of Education in March. Guarnieri said, “We were quite impressed with Coach Jolley’s work in his role as the junior varsity coach here last year and when the varsity position opened, we felt he might be ready to assume a bigger role.” Guarnieri continued, “In meeting with him during our interview process, we saw very quickly that he is in fact ready and has an incredibly sound and thorough plan to elevate the program from top to bottom. His suitability to coach here at a high level is further evidenced by the many successes he had as a club coach prior to his arrival at Kenston.”
Jolley’s knowledge of the game first came as a high school player at Centerville High School where he earned honorable mention All-State honors as a two-year varsity setter for the Elks. From there, he continued his playing career as a member of the club men’s team at Ohio University. There, he met his future wife Kenston alumna Claire Randall and learned of the great tradition of Bomber volleyball.
Immediately following graduation from OU, Jolley took on several coaching responsibilities. At the high school level, he coached at Alexander High School in Albany, OH as well at the Laurel School. In the club circuit, he was on the staff at ALETA Volley Club in Athens, OH before moving into roles with local Eastside Cleveland Juniors and Academy Volleyball of Cleveland (AVC).
This path has prepared Jolley well, prompting him to say, “After coaching both high school and club for the past 11 years, I could not be more excited to now lead the Kenston volleyball program. I hope to build a program that the players, families and community can be proud to support. After watching great Kenston teams over the years, I know the tradition that the program has and believe that we can continue that in the seasons to come.”
The varsity team is coming off of a 2020 season where it finished with a 7-12 record but also had lost three All-State performers from the prior year’s team who finished as District Runners-Up in 2019. Jolley envisions a quick rebound to playing at a high level saying, “We have a lot of very talented players in the program. I’ve felt since day one, when I joined as the junior varsity coach, that we have the potential to compete with any team we play. My goal is to build a program that competes year-in and year-out to be not only at the top of our conference, but to be in the conversation with the top teams in the state.”
Coach Jolley graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor of arts in General Art before acquiring a master’s of education from Cleveland State University. In addition to coaching, he works as an intervention specialist at Cleveland Heights High School.
Kenston is due to open its 2021 regular season at home as they will take on Laurel on August 21.