By Zachary Flynn
After spending the last seven seasons as one of the assistant coaches of the Ooks’ men’s volleyball team, Greg Gulash is leading the Ooks as they start their season.
The Ooks finished their opening season with a perfect 2-0 record, beating Concordia in straight sets Friday and Saturday.
While Gulash said head coach Doug Anton’s mentorship greatly influenced him, the long-time head coach also encouraged Gulash to be unique with his own style.
“Doug’s always been really encouraging for me to find my own voice in the gym and mentor that piece,” said Gulash.
“He’s had a huge influence on me but he also says, ‘Don’t be me. Make sure you have your own style and make sure, especially this year to bring it in there.’”
Gulash played 5 seasons for the Ooks before moving into the role of assistant coach. Over the course of his playing career, he’s had the opportunity to take a deep dive into the offensive and defensive mindsets of the sport and says that has helped him develop as a coach.
“As the head coach I’ve had to adapt to a global stye. Coming out I was a setter and ran a lot of the offensive side and through my playing career became a libero and was leading some of the defence, so it made me look at both sides of things,” said Gulash.
Gulash hopes to create an environment where his athletes look forward to practice and enjoy their time with the Ooks, especially when athletes are only eligible to play up to 5 years collegiately.
“With post secondary athletics, sooner rather than later it all ends so we want to create an atmosphere where they love coming to the gym,” he said.
And because college athletics won’t last forever (unless you play for five years, come back as an assistant coach, and work your way to the head coach role), Gulash says it’s important to make sure the skills his athletes learn transfers into their everyday life.
“I like the idea of helping these guys become the players they want to be on the court as well as the people they want to be off the court. This group has always come in and worked really hard in the gym and I want to make sure they know how to transfer these skills that they’re leaning into the workplace and into their day to day life,” said Gulash.