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Oklahoma high school volleyball: Edmond Santa Fe’s Will Ethridge notches 1,000th career win

Edmond Santa Fe Will Ethridge poses for a photo during the Fall high school sports media day at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019.   [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Edmond Santa Fe Will Ethridge poses for a photo during the Fall high school sports media day at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

EDMOND — A lot of change has occurred during Will Ethridge’s career as Edmond Santa Fe’s volleyball coach.

There are nearly 100 more high school volleyball teams across the state. The sport’s tremendous growth is also occurring at the club level, and Oklahoma has started churning out top-tier Division-I athletes year after year.

As for Ethridge, he has been with Edmond Santa Fe’s volleyball program since its inception in 1993, when the school opened. On Tuesday, he collected his 1,000th career win after topping Moore 3-0.

It was 1,000 career wins for one of the biggest proprietors in the sports’ growth across the state since Ethridge began coaching. It was the 1,000th win for a program which has been dominant since it started.

Yet for Ethridge, it’s just another step in his journey.

“It’s a lot of years and a lot of really good kids,” Ethridge said. “I’ve just been blessed with some wonderful, talented kids. You string that together for a bunch of years, and that kind of success breeds success. And now we’re here.”

Ethridge’s teams have made 13 state championship match appearances in 27 years. He has won seven state titles.

Ethridge said there has been no magic recipe to his success.

“He’s simply the GOAT,” Edmond Public Schools athletic director Mike Nunley said. “Guy's records and history of the program are simply incredible.

“Will is the ambassador of volleyball for Oklahoma. The transformation in the sport over the last 15-20 years, he’s been at the front.”

Ethridge’s team last won the state title in 2018, which was his second straight. This season’s team is strong enough to make a run, too.

The Wolves are ranked fifth in Class 6A with two matches to go until regionals begin, which Santa Fe will likely host.

If Santa Fe is able to make the state championship match for the 14th time in 28 years, it will also be the 12th straight year the one of the Edmond high schools has made the finals.

Edmond’s dominance in volleyball all ties back to Ethridge in some way.

“This year, more than ever, we’ve seen so much depth in talent, at least in 6A,” Ethridge said. “It’s really impressive, and it all traces back to the growth.”

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›

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