Moody resigns as DSU volleyball coachAn Easter weekend skiing trip to Terry Peak in the Black Hills motivated Dave Moody to make a life-changing decision he’d been mulling over for more than two years.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
DICKINSON - An Easter weekend skiing trip to Terry Peak in the Black Hills motivated Dave Moody to make a life-changing decision he’d been mulling over for more than two years.
“Sometimes when you distance yourself, then the right thing to do comes to mind,” Moody said.
On Monday evening, with his family in mind, Moody officially resigned as Dickinson State’s head volleyball coach after 18 years. He ends his career at DSU with a 466-159 record.
The decision, Moody said, was based solely on being able to spend more time with his three children.
“I’ve always wanted to coach and my heroes were my coaches when I was growing up. But I always wanted to be a dad too,” Moody said. “To be a dad requires a very valuable asset called time. I can’t give that time to my own children if I’m dealing with other people’s daughters. I have to do what’s right.”
Moody’s children – Nate (16), Ali (13) and Aanen (10) – are all active in extra-curricular activities and being able to spend more time as an involved parent took precedence over coaching for the former NAIA national coach of the year.
“I’ve decided that my legacy is not going to be necessarily continuing on with the volleyball program for 10 or 20 more years,” Moody said. “It’s going to try and be the best parent I can be.”
Moody won an NAIA national championship and was named national coach of the year in 2000.
Last season, DSU finished 30-4 and was unexpectedly knocked out of the national playoffs in the Region III tournament. Moody informed the team of his resignation Monday night.
During his tenure, the Blue Hawks won 12 regular-season conference titles, 11 conference tournament championships and had 12 region and eight national tournament appearances. In Moody’s career, he has also coached 18 All-American players.
Last season, the Blue Hawks won their eighth consecutive Dakota Athletic Conference championship. Since 1995, DSU is 150-3 in conference matches. That mark included 91 consecutive conference match victories from 1996 to 2004.
“Those are some big shoes to fill,” DSU athletic director Roger Ternes said.
Moody’s wife, Kay, who was his assistant coach all but one year of his tenure at DSU, is also stepping down from her post.
“We’re kind of a tag-team here too,” Moody said. “So, it’s a family decision. It’s a great family decision.”
Moody, who is a tenured employee of DSU, has set his work sights on the classroom. He plans on increasing the amount of classes he teaches in the Department of Health and Physical Education next school year.
However, Moody doesn’t intend to push volleyball by the wayside. Last weekend, he coached Ali’s club team at a tournament in Jamestown.
“I’ll still be involved in volleyball at some capacity and some level, I just won’t be the coach at DSU,” Moody said. “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of lending a hand. There are lots of possibilities out there.”
As for Moody’s replacement, Ternes said a nationwide search has already begun.
“I think there’ll be a lot of interest in the position because he has had quite a run,” Ternes said. “I anticipate we’ll have a lot of quality applicants for the job.”
However, the top candidates to replace Moody stature may be right down the road.
Former NAIA national coach of the year Todd Lowery and his assistant, Fernanda Nelson, are out of jobs after National American University announced it was cutting its volleyball program last week. In six years at NAU, Lowery compiled a 212-22 record.
Moody said losing NAU as a rival and seeing Lowery and Nelson looking for jobs had an impact on his decision to resign.
“When I heard the news NAU was closing down, it was like, whoa, I lost my rival,” Moody said. “It was almost like I lost my best friend.”
Moody, who is friends with both Lowery and Nelson, said he would be comfortable with either coach taking over the program and believes both will apply for the position.
“My concern is to make sure the program not only survives but thrives,” Moody said. “If I can influence the direction of the program – and I know I can’t, but if I can – I’d do everything I can to make sure we continue what we started. I think we’ve done a good job of putting DSU volleyball on the map. I want that to be taken care of down the road too. It’s easy to stay where you are, but tougher to climb back up.”