For the third time this year, Eagle Point High School will welcome one of its alumna back and in the role of a head coach. Beth Bilden, EPHS Class 1961, has been hired as head volleyball coach. She joins the other two EPHS graduates; Mike Newmann, head baseball coach and Mark Jolliffe, head softball coach.
Bilden is a health and math teacher in the Prospect School district and just finished a year as head volleyball coach for Crater High School. “I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to coach at my alma mater,” said Bilden. She said since she and her husband, Jonathan, live in Eagle Point, coaching at Eagle Point will work well. She will also continue her position with the Prospect District.
Bilden received her bachelors degree on an accelerated program from Southern Oregon University, which saw her graduate in three years. She immediately entered the masters program and earned that degree in 2010. She is now 22 years old.
She started as a coach with North Jackson Volleyball the year she graduated from EPHS and spent three years as an assistant EPHS volleyball coach. The girls who will be seniors on the volleyball team were members of the North Jackson team Bilden’s first year as coach of that team. North Jackson is an off season club sport. Many of the volleyball players participate in that program and it may become an even more important feeder to high school volleyball as the school-sponsored teams through middle school are abolished due to budgeting constraints.
“We will have strong players this year and be very competitive,” said Bilden when asked about the prospects for Eagle Point. She expects to interview and have her assistants (freshman and JV) coaches in place within a couple of months.
Tentative plans call for an open gym beginning in June. This gives incoming freshmen an opportunity to condition and build comradery. Later there will be a youth camp for 7th through 9th grade. The season actually begins the first part of September,
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent