In the first round of the NVC volleyball tournament a milestone was hit, but very few knew it happened. Elkhorn Valley’s head volleyball coach Emily Vaughn received her 300th career win in a sweep over the Santee Warriors.
When asked if she ever thought she would get to this place in her career, Vaughn didn’t even think there was a club like this when she first started coaching.
“I don’t even think I knew there was such a thing,” she said. “At that poin,t I was right out of college, and I was just taking it one game at a time and trying to just keep up each game that season.”
When you start as a coach right out of college, it can be intimidating. For Vaughn, it was like going home — becameis did. An Elkhorn Valley graduate, Vaughn received help from some of her coaches from high school, which made it an easy spot to take over.
“Randy Pack and all of my high school coaches helped me when I first started,” said Vaughn. “I got to help Randy coach the 16s and 18’s softball team for EV while I was still in collge and most of my high school coaches were still at EV and they accepted me and helped mentor me when I first started.”
Vaughn received so much help, she struggled to name her most significant mentor.
“I have learned from all of the coaches I have worked with at EV, the NENAC Conference, the NVC Conference, and many other coaches throughout Northeast Nebraska,” she said. “I don’t think we ever stop learning and we are always still trying to figure out all the ‘stuff’ that goes along with coaching.”
Great teams can be hard to come by when you first start coaching. Vaughn said she considers herself lucky to have started coaching when she did and to have such talented teams.
“The student-athletes and teams I have worked with at EV have all been special,” she said. “I walked into a good situation where there were some pretty athletic girls and a strong foundation was in place. I have lots of great memories from each and every team.”
Like the familiar expression of “I feel like I have learned more from you than guys have learned from me,” Vaughn said that describes her career.
“I’ve learned that there are lots of ways to measure success and each year, each team is unique and special,” she said. “I just like to remind them to work hard and have fun.”
When asked if there was anyone that she would like to thank for helping her get where she is, she was as humble as it gets, thanking her athletes.
“The girls and the teams deserve all of the credit, I’m just the lucky one that gets to guide them and coach them along the way,” said Vaughn. “I was glad that I got to come back to EV after graduating from there, plus it’s been a pretty great experience for me and my family at Elkhorn Valley the last 20 years.”