Thursday Feb 21, 2013
White played college volleyball at Northern Kentucky University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work, and she has coached the sport at various levels, including high school, for more than 20 years. In 2006, she launched Magnum Force Volleyball Club in Noblesville, Ind., at which she has coached and mentored more than 300 athletes.
“I have always wanted to coach at the college level,” said White, a married mother of two. “That was always in the cards. I was just waiting for my children to get to an age where they would be able to take care of themselves so that I would be able to do it.”
When the coaching job at IU Northwest came available following the 2012 season, White decided that it was the right opportunity at the right time.
“It’s the same type of program that I came up in when I went to Northern Kentucky University. It was a small commuter school, so it was very similar to what IU Northwest offers,” she said.
IU Northwest Athletic Director Kristofer Schnatz said that White is the right person to help re-establish RedHawk volleyball’s competitive stature.
“Diane has a history of building successful programs through player development and personal dedication. I believe that Diane’s 20 years of playing and coaching experience have her ready to take on the challenges ahead,” he said.
White inherits a team that has struggled the past few years but is poised to rebound with an experienced core of returning veteran players. The coach has set goals of 15 wins and postseason play in the Association of Independent Institutions for the 2013 season.
“I demand a lot out of the kids. And I think the girls want that,” White explained. “If you have high expectations of yourself, you’re going to deliver on those expectations and get good results. That’s the way that I coach my teams. I’m very clear in my expectations, tell them what I want, and expect them to deliver. And most of them do.”
One of White’s expectations is that her team will become more active off the court, both on campus and in the community. It’s a goal that is consistent with the university’s institutional commitment to community-based engagement and that reflects White’s personal belief that student-athletes and their teams benefit from such activities.
“We want to get the community more involved in the sport of volleyball here on campus,” the coach said. “So we’re looking at doing different fundraisers, community events, things like that, to try and get the team out there in front of people.”
White has already begun recruiting for the upcoming season, and she understands from her playing days at Northern Kentucky the kind of appeal that a regional campus program holds for student-athletes. IU Northwest offers students an opportunity to play competitive NAIA volleyball at a local Indiana University campus where they can earn a world-class IU degree and become part of a culturally and academically dynamic learning community.
“I think the smaller campus draws the type of athlete that we want for the NAIA programs,” she said. “We want the athlete that is not necessarily looking for the full-ride scholarship. They’re looking more for the good education. IU Northwest offers that.”
White, whose family life is rooted in Westfield, said she plans to commute from downstate for now but will make local, temporary living arrangements during the season. She continues to be heavily involved in operating and coaching at Magnum Force, and her husband, Rick, and daughters, Brianna and Jordan, are involved with the club, as well.
“As the season gets closer, and we start stacking practices back to back, I’ll stay up here,” White said. “But right now, since we’re in the offseason, I’m commuting here a couple of days a week.”