WHS volleyball coaching staff resigns | Sport

A seven-season stint for former Woodinville volleyball head coach Andrea Roelen ended last month when she handed in her resignation papers.

In the fall of 2021, a small group of WHS varsity parents and players filed allegations and complaints against the head coach. The claims were later found to be false and unfounded, Roelen said.

The complaints sparked an extensive investigation by the Northshore School District over the course of several months. During the study, athletes, coaches and staffers were interviewed, she said.

“This is the most horrific and devastating ordeal I have ever experienced as a coach,” said Roelen. “Not only did it impact me, it negatively impacted my family, my staff and other players and their families in the program. It was a very painful and emotionally traumatic time.”

Roelen said she felt unsafe and uncomfortable being in the gym when the parents were present because she had to endure “verbal attacks, insults and foul language”. The “slander” spread to social media and another local newspaper.

“Because of the lengthy investigation, I never had a chance to defend myself and my reputation until it was over,” she said. “Despite all this, I am proud to say that I have held my head high and coached on behalf of the program and our athletes with professionalism, integrity and honor.”

According to the NSD, Roelen was acquitted of any wrongdoing or policy violations when the investigation was closed in November.

“While I was not surprised, I was of course happy to be acquitted of the false charges against me because deep in my heart I know who I am,” she said. “I know how I coach, how I behaved myself and carried out my program – with character, integrity and always with only the best intentions for the growth and well-being of my players.”

Roelen said the group of parents did not accept the district’s findings and continued to take further action while repeating the same allegations against her.

“Due to the continued reprehensible behavior of these parents and the lack of support and protection from the schools during this long process, it became painfully clear to me that this was no longer a positive or healthy environment for me to work in,” says Roelen. . .

She has notified the district of her resignation, effective December 17. Assistant volleyball coach Tynan Gable and C-Team head coach Maren Duimstra have also resigned, according to a report by NSD on Jan. 10.

In the 30 years of coaching, Roelen said, there has never been a formal complaint against her.

“I was devastated and incredibly hurt by the lies and false accusations being made against me,” she said. “It was also terribly disturbing to me that these parents would display such intentional, malicious and unacceptable behavior towards our student athletes without regard to who they are hurting.”

Roelen said she doesn’t know when she will coach again, but she is confident that her future will include being back on the volleyball court.

“While I will no longer be the head coach of WHS, I will still be a devoted fan and supporter of the amazing girls that are coming into the program,” she said. “I believe in them. I believe in what we’ve taught them, and I can’t wait to see what they do next for WHS volleyball.”

For about three decades, Roelen has coached volleyball to students of all ages and abilities in Woodinville and Colorado. She also coached for both men’s and women’s programs at Washington State University, she said.

“I would actually like to return to the collegiate arena if the right opportunity presents itself,” she said. “I will look to where God leads me and follow that calling wherever it leads me. I am proud of what I have done at WHS and I look forward to my next coaching effort in the future, whatever or wherever that may be.”

Roelen joined the Lady Falcons in 2015 as an assistant coach, she said. Two years later, she took over the WHS program as head coach.

“I was thrilled to have found my dream job, coaching in my own community,” she said. “I was so excited to have the opportunity to build and promote the Woodinville volleyball program for the sole benefit and growth of the student athletes.”

During her time as a coach for Woodinville, Roelen said, she was proud to have helped so many teens develop into “confident, powerful and strong young female athletes.”

Some of her favorite memories include team bonding days and coaching for the team during five-set nail-biting wins, such as those against Ballard High School in 2019 and Mount Si High School in 2018.

Also in 2018, the Lady Falcons qualified for the play-offs for the first time in seven years, Roelen said.

“I will miss the athletes at WHS throughout the year, getting to know them and their families, and meeting the new players who come to WHS for the first time every fall,” she said. “I will miss our incredible camaraderie from the staff.”

The Northshore School District has not commented on Andrea Roelen’s resignation.

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