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Robin Salters retires as coach after 24 years

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Robin Salters retires as coach after 24 years

Photo Courtesy of Charger Bulletin

Photo Courtesy of Charger Bulletin

Photo Courtesy of Charger Bulletin

Photo Courtesy of Charger Bulletin

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

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After 24 years coaching, 11 NCAA Elite Eight appearances, six NE-10 championships, and 650 career wins, legendary women’s volleyball coach Robin Salters has decided to call it a career coaching from the volleyball sideline. Salters will step down from coaching to take on the role of Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Women’s administrator for the Chargers.

“I had to make a decision, and it was the right time for me” said Salters. “24 years is a long time, I’ve achieved a lot, I think the program is in a pretty good place just like it was when I took over. I think professionally and personally, this was the right time for me to make a move.”

Salters is only the second coach in program history following former Athletic Director Debbie Chin, who played a big role over the course of her career.

“Debbie has been a great mentor to me, she was my coach while I was here as a player and she brought me in to replace her when she moved into full time administration. She’s been a great mentor to me both as a volleyball coach and an administrator, I’ve learned a lot from her and she talked with me about the position and she was instrumental in helping me to make a decision,” said Salters.

Coming into the position, Salters is greeted with some instability at the forefront of the athletic department given the fact that the university has had three athletic directors in the past year and a half. The task will be challenging, but not unobtainable.

“Quite honestly, there are a lot of goals I would like to achieve, but right now it’s going to be a matter of providing stability. We’ve had some change in the last year and a half in our department and I’m looking to provide some stability, I’m also looking to provide an opportunity for our student athletes to grow their experiences and help them to have great memories as they leave the University of New Haven and become Charger Alumni,” said Salters.

In her new role Salters will be working with newly appointed Director of Athletics Chris Palmer. The pair will try and use their leading attributes to help point Charger Athletics in the right direction.

“I think it’s going to be a good working relationship he has a ton of experience as a coach through many different arenas both collegiately and professionally. He has a lot of contacts and big ideas that he’s bringing to the table. I think the two of us will work well together because I’ve been here at the university, I know the workings of the university, I know the workings of the NCAA, so I think we will balance each other out in that regard,” said Salters.

Now coach Salters is relinquishing the reins of the program, it is going to be time to look for her “replacement.” Replacing such a successful and well-respected coach can be a daunting task, but she will give them the freedom to run the program on their own.

“I took over for Debbie while she was still here, and the new person will sort of have that same relationship. I want to provide whoever that person is the opportunity to have the same amount of freedom to create their own program just as I was given. I’m going to be here to be able to support, lend an ear, but I am not going to be hands on. I am going to leave that person to find their own way and of course provide them the support they need in order to be successful and keep moving the program forward,” said Salters.

It was announced that current assistant coach Ana Pego has been named interim Head Coach in the meantime. The players are the real victims of this decision by Salters. She was the one that brought them in, and she was the one that molded them into the champions that they are.

“I’ve talked to my players they were surprised, they were sad in some regard, they were shocked in some way, but they know that I’m still here to support them. I’ll be there in the stands and they can still come and see me if they want to. I believe they are still going to be able to achieve their goals with the new coach,” said Salters.

Some players took to the press to voice their opinion on coach Salters leaving.

“It’s going to be so different without her at practice everyday and on the bench every game, because she knows so much about the sport and about us. I’m happy for her and think she had a great coaching career, I was honored to be a part of that career but a selfish part of me wishes she had stayed until I graduated,” said junior Kristine Rios.          

 

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Robin Salters retires as coach after 24 years