Kirkpatrick headed to CHHS
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Troy City Schools introduced former Troy University head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick as the new head volleyball coach at Charles Henderson High School on Monday evening.
The hire came after long-time head coach Jennifer Sikes was removed in early December.
Kirkpatrick becomes the Trojans new coach after spending 11 years at Troy where he totaled 145 wins.
“I am really excited,” Kirkpatrick said. “I can’t wait to meet with the team and to start working with them. We have a lot to do, but the one think that Charles Henderson never has a shortage of, and that’s athletes. I hope they are looking forward to the challenges. I know we have a lot of work to do, but I know we will be able to get to where we want to go.”
After leaving Troy University Nov. 15 after a 10-23 season, Kirkpatrick took the job at Charles Henderson High School as a business teacher and after the head coaching position opened up, everything fell into place.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to coach again,” Kirkpatrick said. “I have never coached at the high school level. I didn’t know at this point of my career if that was something I wanted to do. I know I wanted to work with young kids.
“(CHHS Principal) Brock Kelley told me they had a volleyball coach already and I understood. I told him I was looking forward to teach,” Kirkpatrick said. After Sikes was asked to step aside from the head coaching position, Kirkpatrick said Kelley “told me (they) had a spot if I was interested and it all fell into place.”
After coaching more established players, Kirkpatrick is excited to work with players who are learning the sport of volleyball.
“I was disappointed with my own performance at Troy,” Kirkpatrick said. “This lets me get back to the grassroots. I will have a chance to build a program. Getting to direct a program from the bottom is what is very exciting.”
Sikes said Monday she believes she has built a foundation for a winning program in the years to come.
“Our record has not been very good,” Sikes said. “We have improved. We have pulled up freshman to play varsity, and we are getting there. I had four girls that made club ball teams: Tanner Moore, Emily Walker, Nikki Lee and Reagan Hudson. It’s coming along and the program is going to do nothing but get better.”
Sikes has been a volleyball coach for 24 years and she hopes that she will be able to continue to work with the program in some capacity.
“I don’t want to lose touch with my girls,” Sikes said. “I have expressed my interest in it. As a head coach you have every responsibility: players, parents, scheduling, and I don’t delegate well. If I can be an extra set of hands some times, that would keep my relationship with the girls and that would make me happy, because that is what I love doing.”