High School Volleyball: Warriors will have new coach in 2017

After nine seasons as head coach of the Brainerd Warriors volleyball program, Jared Diem's contract as coach was terminated effective Nov. 17 along with the contracts of his assistant coaches.

Jared Diem
Jared Diem

After nine seasons as head coach of the Brainerd Warriors volleyball program, Jared Diem's contract as coach was terminated effective Nov. 17 along with the contracts of his assistant coaches.

Warriors activities director Charlie Campbell thanked Diem for his years of service and added that a search for a successor is underway.

"Coach Diem has led the program through some challenging times, like the elimination and eventual adding back of middle school programming," Campbell wrote in an email to the Dispatch. "His efforts to revive and grow our program are recognized and appreciated, but I felt we needed new leadership to help our program compete consistently with other programs from the Central Lakes Conference and Section 8-3A."

Diem posted two winning seasons during his tenure (2014, 2011) and finished with a career overall record of 108-162 (.400). His Warrior teams advanced past the first round of the section tournament three times and compiled a 37-70 record against CLC competition.

In an email to the Dispatch, Diem said be believes volleyball is "an incredible team sport," in which he has spent years playing, supporting and coaching athletes that share his love of the game.


"Some of these athletes have gone on to play at the college level, some have chosen club volleyball, and most continue to play volleyball in leagues and tournaments as a lifelong opportunity to play a highly complex, physical and competitive sport," Diem added. "Many of these players are now coaches. I'm so proud to have coached and mentored them."

Diem reflected on his tenure with the Warriors.

"It has been a time of very significant growth in our program, beginning with a third and fourth grade introduction to skill through middle levels, fifth through eighth grade physical strengthening, skill building and introduction to competition, to high school drive, passion, team building and success in the sport," he said. "Our program grew and evolved to levels that required a change in the fifth grade season due to gym space, and the need to provide more comprehensive coaching to all middle levels.

"At the high school level, a JV 3 team was created to accommodate girls who had never played or were in an earlier developmental stage in the sport. We were innovative with coaching and often used our older players to assist with the middle school program on game nights.

"We involved all of our players at our tournaments so everyone would have the opportunity to learn to take statistics and manage the volleyball 'book.' We were building 'whole' players at all levels. When I look back, we have built a great program."

Diem said he was grateful to all of his coaches through the years from the elementary through the varsity level.

"Each of them has supported the program and has collaborated, trained, and coached with passion, expertise and heart," he said. "The past year has been one of the best coaching years I have ever had. (The girls) all went over and above volleyball coaching to mentor, advise, and encourage the girls in other aspects of their lives.

"The girls in the Warrior volleyball program have developed into amazing young women in many ways through the impact of their coaches. I am truly grateful for their coaching, professionalism, and sincere friendships."


Diem said one of the things he was most proud of was his program's support of The Pink Ribbon Cupboard.

"Warrior volleyball raised over $15,000 for the support of breast cancer, local patients, and research," he said. "We also raised money for and supported the Salvation Army, worked in the community to collect and serve at the food shelf, and supported the work of local police, fire, and emergency workers.

"I was also involved with the fundraiser and remembrance of the late John Backlund who announced Warrior volleyball for many years. Though a new announcer has stepped in, John is greatly missed."

Diem thanked the community for the support his program received from parents and boosters, from office and equipment room professionals, athletic trainers, score table staff, officials, announcers, community education staff, CLC coaches and players, those involved with the offseason Junior Olympics Volleyball program and guest, expert coaches and friends who helped him with summer camps developing the Warrior program.

"I can not forget GLS North and others who helped with uniforms, T-shirts and volleyball supplies needed to have a successful season. I counted on you," he said.

"I am not walking away from Warrior volleyball," Diem added. "In fact, I assured the girls that I would never give up on them-I would not quit. It is the (activities director) that has determined that I am no longer the varsity volleyball coach that they need.

"I know that I truly supported the values of courage, confidence, learn from failure, celebrate success, belonging and growth. It is the 'Why We Play' philosophy in my coaching and I can lay my head on that at night.

"I am sad to go. I am thankful for the people who have supported me as a coach, colleague, and friend over the years. I will miss Warrior volleyball and coaching the varsity sport that I love."

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