Changing of the guard in Notre Dame volleyball

Dan Clotfelter retires after seven years as head coach of the Lady Irish, and Laurie McGinley will succeed him

After seven successful years wearing the green and gold and 17 years as a high school varsity coach, Dan Clotfelter has announced his retirement from coaching volleyball at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, and the school is promoting Laurie McGinley into the head coach role.

“It’s been an honor to lead these young women for the last seven years,” Mr. Clotfelter said.

Mr. Clotfelter

The coach secured his 500th career win this past season.

“I have been privileged to work at a school and within a community that cares about their faith and the formation of young people,” he said.

In his tenure at Notre Dame, Mr. Clotfelter saw five district championships and three region championships, including a state runner-up finish in 2020. The team won 210 matches—an average of 30 per season—under Mr. Clotfelter and in 2023 racked up an .818 regular-season winning percentage, including an undefeated record in district play, before steamrolling through the district and region tournaments undefeated. His teams were additionally undefeated in district play in 2019, 2020, and 2021. In his seven seasons, six teams posted top-10 finishes in the state tournament.

“Dan Clotfelter has created a remarkable culture of success,” said Notre Dame head of school Deacon Hicks Armor. “His win totals are astonishing, but most importantly he has helped teach these young women to strive, both in pursuit of excellence and in pursuit of their faith.”

Alongside his team’s accolades, Mr. Clotfelter saw 21 players named All-District in his tenure and three All-State. Six girls were named to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps teams. Five were named most valuable player of the district tournament, and four were named MVP of the district for regular season play.

Mr. Clotfelter lauded the rest of the athletic department when contemplating his time on Vermont Avenue.

“I have especially enjoyed the culture between the coaches of all sports at Notre Dame,” Mr. Clotfelter said. “They were always available to listen, encourage, and advise, and I became a better coach because of them.”

Ms. McGinley

Ms. McGinley has served as assistant coach under Mr. Clotfelter for the last two seasons. Before that, she was head coach at Grace Baptist Academy for five years. She has coached at various schools in East Tennessee since 2009.

“Having been here for the last two years, Laurie is in a position to pick up exactly where Dan left off,” said athletics director Brian Gill. “She not only has a proven track record of success in her own right but has pre-existing relationships with the team and knows how to lead young women both athletically and in their faith.”

In addition to her work as a volleyball coach, Ms. McGinley has a background in social work, having attained a degree in psychology from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee.

“Dan worked really hard to build this program, and I’m honored to continue in doing the same,” Ms. McGinley said. “I’m thankful to be following after a coach that has always been committed to the development of players as the game progresses, as that is very much part of my philosophy as well—always room for growth!

“When I walk into the gym each day, my first focus is on training discipleship and servant-leadership within the players on my team. The game of volleyball is simply a conduit to do that, and I use it as a model for life.”

The 2024 TSSAA volleyball season begins Aug. 19.

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