Castaic High School, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, announced the hiring of Taylor Schubert as the girls volleyball coach on Monday.
Schubert has been an assistant coach at West Ranch the past couple of years, coaching the JV team and the freshmen team before that, while helping head coach Jamey Ker with the varsity squad.
Schubert also coaches at Legacy Volleyball Club in Valencia, where she works with Ker’s father, legendary volleyball coach Walt Ker.
The senior Ker was the one who first brought up the new coaching position at Castaic to Schubert and encouraged her to apply.
“I work with Walt Ker at my club, so one of the moms whose kid is going there reached out to him, and he reached out to me asking if I wanted to apply,” Schubert said.
Schubert, who played volleyball at Saugus throughout her high school career, credits the father and son duo for helping her become a better coach and for pushing her to take on this new challenge.
“It’s been great, they are both fantastic at what they do and Jamey is really good with working with me and teaching me the ropes,” she said. “I was able to assist varsity as well instead of only focusing on JV. He’s a really good mentor to have and gave me the courage to apply and got out on my own.”
The first girls volleyball team, along with the other sports teams, will consist of only freshmen as the school and athletic program will only have an inaugural 2019-20 class to work with.
Schubert plans on blending things she learned as a player at Saugus and as a coach at West Ranch into her newly-minted program.
“There’s only going to be a freshman class, starting from scratch. It’ll be fun though. I’m ecstatic about growing a whole new program,” Schubert said. “Myself at Saugus was a little different than it was at West Ranch, so I’m excited to take what I’ve liked about both programs and kind of make it my own over at Castaic.”
Schubert said starting a program from the ground up is thrilling, but it also presents a whole new set of challenges that other coaches who take over an already established program don’t have to deal with.
Having the freedom to build the program the way she envisions it is exhilarating, but there is also nothing to fall back on.
“I think there’s definitely more freedom because there is no one before you, so there’s no set expectation of ‘This is how it’s always been.’ It’s more like, ‘Well this is what I want to build, what we want to build as a whole community over at Castaic,’” she said. “That’s going to be exciting, but also it’s a little terrifying because you’re going out on your own.
“There’s no, ‘Well this is what’s been working in the past so we can build off of that.’ It’s, ‘We’re starting from here and let’s hope we can get through the first couple years figuring out.’”
Schubert will hold a summer camp and tryouts to find prospective players for the inaugural team.
Having built a reputation throughout the local volleyball community will certainly help her in the recruiting process.
“I know I’ve heard from one of the ADs that a couple of kids have registered already, so we’re hoping to get them to try out. We’ll have a summer camp and that’s how we’ll get kids,” she said. “I know a couple girls just from the club that I work for are coming, so hopefully getting a few more girls to come out knowing them and I know they know me, or at least heard of me. So hopefully getting some people that way.”