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Taking command

By KATRINA BRANSON - kbranson@shelbynews.com

Andrew Fuller is more than ready for the task of being Shelbyville’s new head volleyball coach, and he has the experience to go along with the passion of the sport.

“I was (previously) a Varsity Assistant at Zionsville,” Fuller said. “I started a boys program a couple of years ago at Guerin Catholic and have just been getting involved with the Shelbyville community. I’ve met some of the kids in my line of work from coaching at the Academy of Volleyball club in Indianapolis. I really got to learn what this community was about, and it was cool to see what potential the young athletes have and where they’ve been and where they look to get to.”

Fuller notes that the best part about the Shelbyville volleyball program is the ability for it to grow.

“It really has so much room to grow, and I think that’s the biggest thing being in a volleyball conference as heavy as the Hoosier Heritage Conference,” he said. “There’s just a lot of great programs that Shelbyville has a chance to play and be around – and not only that there’s a lot of talent inside the program that’s just waiting to develop and take that next level and next leap. There’s a really good eighth grade class currently and an even better seventh grade class. So, the future of Shelbyville volleyball is continuing to grow, and I look forward to seeing what we can do in the next three or four years.”

The 23-year-old admits being a little nervous when applying for the position but got the push he needed from players he’s worked with.

“They said hey our high school is opening up, and (I) watched the school when I did a little PA announcing for Greenfield-Cenral. I went after it, and I’m happy I was able to achieve the goal of getting it.”

Coaching volleyball isn’t new for the Fuller family. Andrew’s older brother of six years, Travis, is the head coach at Greenfield-Central, and you can bet a rivalry is brewing. The teams will face off in the upcoming season on Travis’ birthday – making it even more of a competition.

“Travis took over the Greenfield-Central program in 2016, and he led them to a couple really big top-25 wins. Then last year he reloaded with a freshman class, and he was very hesitant to let me go after this position,” Fuller said. “I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t want me in the same conference or something like that, but it’s a little brother rivalry we have going on. So, there’s going to be a little bit of fire between the Greenfield-Central and Shelbyville matches from here on out, and we’re really excited about it.”

Although the season is months away, no one is more prepared than Fuller – and he has the spread sheets to prove it.

“I have all three social media pages ready to go up, and the programs never had that before,” he explained. “I’ve created about five spread sheets, too. I have a schedule from last year and it shows the classes that they were playing and whether they won or lost -- so it gives me an idea of where we can make some changes. I have another spread sheet sheet of players who played last year and where they play club at – what they’re doing in the offseason, how many multi-sport athletes I have, how many are volleyball only and what level they’re at.”

The passion Fuller has for volleyball is more than evident when speaking to him, but he understands that everyone needs to rest.

“I plan on doing a senior meeting soon and then a call out meeting in February,” he said. “Obviously, the biggest thing is we’ll keep weights going on throughout the year, but sometimes a volleyball mind needs to reset in the offseason, so we probably won’t really start anything up until late May or early June to start getting into open gyms.”

When asked what he is looking forward to the most, Fuller didn’t hesitate with his response.

“To seeing growth,” he said. “I think that’s really important when you have a program that had six wins last year. I think it’s a positive note to know where they can go. I think there’s a lot of growth here, and there’s a couple of athletes I think that weren’t in the right spots or positions and just knowing the program from last year. So, we want to get them in the right positions for them to be successful and hopefully just taking that next step into what Shelbyville volleyball is going to be.”

Fuller will look to improve on the program’s 6-17 mark last season with the loss of just two seniors -- Samantha Watson and TeAnn Bringle.

Katrina Branson is a Sports writer for The Shelbyville News. Follow Katrina on Twitter @k_b527.