Cameron Smith

Volleyball coach leaves program hours after winning state title

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A very good night became an awful one for Omaha Gross (Neb.) Catholic High coach Korrine Schuster over the weekend, as the head of the school's newly crowned state champion volleyball team was either fired or resigned just hours after winning a state title.

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According to the Omaha World-Herald and ABC affiliate Nebraska TV, Schuster, shown coaching her club volleyball team at center, above, was cited for being intoxicated and disturbing the peace in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Midtown Holiday Inn where she and her team were staying after winning the program's second consecutive state title, this time against Grand Island Northwest in their opponents' own backyard. The Grand Island (Neb.) Police Department was reportedly called to the scene for an episode of disturbing the peace around 2:45 in the morning; a police spokesman said that officers on the scene thought Schuster was intoxicated.

While it was originally reported that the citation was enough to cost the coach her job, at least one Gross Catholic volleyball parent stepped forward to say that the coach had told those around the program she planned to resign after the season concluded. The parent also said Schuster made that clear to school officials on Sunday.

Indeed, in an act that fits with that story, just hours after her citation for disturbing the peace, Gross High president Beckie Cleveland said the coach's actions veered away from the school's Catholic mission, and in a television report, said that Schuster was no longer employed by the school.

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Critically, there was no comment on whether students were also involved when police were called, but none were sited and there was no reason to believe that they were involved in the disruption, or were with their coach at any point in the late night leading up to the 2:45 a.m. call to Grand Island Police.

The end of Schuster's tenure was a surprising turn for a program which has been led by the coach for years, and excelled under her guidance. The Cougars won their second straight Class B title earlier Saturday, the third under the coach since 2005.

In fact, the coach claimed the continuity of experienced players her program developed was key to winning yet another state title.

"We've got four seniors who are four-year starters and they knew what needed to be done," Schuster told the World-Herald after her team's state-title match. "We had to control our side of the net and keep hitting."

Evidently Schuster won't defend the state crown in 2011, though whether that departure was planned or not remains a topic of debate in Nebraska volleyball circles.

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