Many folks who want to be the best at something often learn how to do it from the experts in that field.
Dwayne Warehime, who was recently approved as the next New Oxford girls’ volleyball head coach, has certainly followed that blueprint.
After spending eight years at Central York High School as an assistant coach with the boys’ and girls’ teams, Warehime is very much looking forward to his new role in the hopes of helping the Colonial program reach a higher level of prominence.
“I knew that I wanted to get back into being a head coach at some point,” said Warehime, who headed the Spring Grove boys’ volleyball team for one year back in 2011. “So I kind of kept a spreadsheet of what I was looking for and programs that I would be interested in applying for. And New Oxford was at the top of the list.”
Warehime ticked off a number of key traits that he was looking for in a program. The big ones included a fun atmosphere, passionate fans and parents, a pool of talented athletes and a school that was one of the bigger ones in terms of enrollment.
There was one final characteristic that tipped the scales in New Oxford's favor.
“I was really looking for an opportunity to build something,” he said. “And I know that they won a district championship back in the early 1990s, but the idea that I can actually build something is something that I really get excited about. I feel that I’m a builder and that was one of the biggest things that I was looking for coming into a program.”
Learning from Central coaches: There are few places better suited to help prepare a budding volleyball coach for such an endeavor than Central York. Warehime learned a great deal from some of the best coaches around in the Panthers' programs. That includes Brad Livingston and Todd Goodling on the boys’ side and Nate Ocasio on the girls’ side.
Warehime also gave a lot of credit to the Kollers, Bruce and Barb. Those two are widely recognized for helping build the Central York boys’ volleyball program into one that is nearly always among the state’s best.
“I have to start with Bruce and Barb,” he said. “Without what those two have done to build the Central York program, the experience I had in my time at Central means very little.”
In local volleyball, there may not be a better duo to learn from than Livingston, who took over for the Kollers while leading the Panthers to two PIAA titles from 2002-2014, and Goodling, who was Livingston’s top assistant before taking over as head coach in 2015. Warehime believes the knowledge gained from Livingston and Goodling will be invaluable.
“Brad and Todd helped me by giving me the opportunity to be a part of a powerhouse program,” Warehime said. “The experience of seeing how to run a great program and to be a part of something that is winning championships at the top level in high school is something that you just can’t buy.”
His time with Ocasio from 2013-2017 shouldn't be discounted either. A former standout at Northeastern High School, Ocasio has lifted the Central girls' program into elite status in the York-Adams League.
“I really thank Nate a lot for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the girls’ program,” Warehime said. “And that’s how I kind of found out that I’m most comfortable coaching (a girls’ team).”
Big job looms with Colonials: While Warehime expects to eventually approach the same level of success that has become commonplace at Central, he is fully aware that turning things around will not happen overnight. New Oxford was just 1-11 a season ago in York-Adams Division I and 3-12 overall.
A repeat of that won’t happen in Warehime’s first season. That’s because the Colonials are swapping positions with Northeastern and dropping down to Division II this fall.
Warehime, however, isn’t making any big-picture goals, such as wins and losses, a priority at this point. Instead, his expectations boil down to the individual level.
“My goal is for us to get better every time we are on the court,” he said. “And if each individual gets better, that means that the group gets better. And if the group gets better that means that the outcome will be better.”
While official practices won’t start until August, Warehime is already getting a glimpse of what he has to work with while coaching a summer team.
“I’m really excited for the upcoming season,” he said. “So far I’ve been nothing but happy with what I’ve seen so far on the court and with how hard the girls have been working.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.