For the first time since 1979, the Bishop Miege High School volleyball team will play without its longtime head coach, Gwenn Pike.
Pike announced her retirement from the school this summer after three and a half decades leading the perennial program.
During her time at Bishop Miege, Pike collected more wins than any Kansas high school volleyball coach (1,224), as well as 21 state championships in Classes 5A and 4A. She was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006.
“After 36 years of coaching, I still love coaching very much, and I still love the team and the school,” Pike said. “But I knew that I would be done soon, and I felt like I had a great assistant (Kathleen Ludwig) who worked with me for three years, who went to Miege, and she was in a great position to take over.”
In the end, Pike grew weary of her year-round volleyball schedule. She will keep her coaching responsibilities with KC Power Volleyball, a club program she started. But setting aside one program gives Pike a chance to take a break, something she hasn’t done in many years.
Spending time with her husband, Rob, and two daughters will be at the top of Pike’s priority list.
“I’ll still be coaching club, which will be great. I just took a part out of it, to take some stress away,” she said. “I normally don’t have any summer time, so when I did retire, I’ve enjoyed my summer. I’ve had some time with my family that I’ve never been able to use. It’s been extremely nice.”
Now led by Pike’s former player, Ludwig, Miege will start its season on Sept. 1 against Gardner Edgerton and Washburn Rural.