New head coach seeks to reignite N. Forsyth volleyball program

Submitted photo- Mack stands with her club volleyball team.

New head coach seeks to reignite N. Forsyth volleyball program
July 27
03:00 2017

The North Forsyth girls volleyball program has not fared so well on the court in recent years.  Hoping to give the team a jump start, the Lady Vikings will be led by Kamika Mack next season.  Mack, a former Viking volleyball player herself, is coming back to resurrect the girls team.

Growing up, Mack’s first love was basketball, but once she was introduced to the game of volleyball in middle school, she was hooked.  She says her mother encouraged her to try out for the team and once she did, she fell in love with it.

Once entering North Forsyth, she initially played under Mike Muse, East Forsyth boys basketball coach.  Next she played under now North Forsyth Athletic Director Sean Vestal, whom she looks at as a mentor in her life.

“I’ve always been able to go to Vestal for advice especially in the coaching realm,” she said.  “He has consistently given me great advice over the years.”

While at North Forsyth, Mack played volleyball, basketball and track. Unfortunately she suffered a debilitating injury to her back while on the track team that derailed any dream of pursuing sports on the collegiate level.  After graduating from North Forsyth in 2008, she had to re-evaluate what she wanted to pursue as a career and coaching was the decision.

She attended St. Augustine’s University, graduating with a degree in Human Performance and Wellness in 2012.  Upon graduation she worked a few jobs and realized a master’s degree is what she needed to further her career.  She entered Florida State University’s Sports Management master’s program and while there she realized teaching the sport of volleyball was her calling.

“At Florida State, there was a volleyball class that I assisted with in teaching,” said Mack.  “That’s really when I fell in love with teaching the sport to others along with coaching.”

Once graduating from Florida State in 2014 she took a job at Florida A&M University, which led to her first coaching job at a Tallahassee high school.  She says she learned a lot as this was her first experience being a coach on any level. Because of contractual issues, she left her job at FAMU and returned to Winston-Salem in July 2015.

Upon returning to Winston she began coaching basketball at Winston-Salem Prep along with being a volunteer volleyball coach at North Forsyth.  She also coached a club volleyball team led by Reagan head coach Doug Balser.  That position led to her being hired as an assistant coach at Bishop McGuinness in 2016 as well as assistant athletic director.

“We had a great year last year at Bishop, probably one of the best years the junior varsity teams have had in 20 years, she said.  “I was the assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach and we did really well overall.”

After the season concluded, North Forsyth’s head coach, Scott Bridges, resigned.  Mack says Vestal gave her a call and she jumped at the opportunity to coach at her alma mater. 

“I’m so proud to be back at our old gym, the place where I put in so much blood, sweat and tears,” said Mack.  “Honestly, I have always wanted to come back to North because I’ve always wanted to come back and coach at a place where I have played.  I feel like that’s a way I can give back to the places that have helped me get to the place where I am today.”

She said once Vestal stepped down from coaching the volleyball team to focus on boys’ basketball, the girls’ volleyball team went on a slow decline. 

“Recently it’s been a huge rebuilding process all across the board with the team,” she said.  “I personally, being a product of this program, I did not like to see how far it had declined.  Now that I have the opportunity to turn it around, I am going to do everything I can to get it back to where Vestal had it, if not further than that.”

Mack says she knows it will be a lot of effort to get the team back to where she thinks it belongs but she is up for the challenge.  She said she will start with the basics and build from there.  A successful season next year is not based on wins or losses but more on building a foundation for her program going forward.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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