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Friday, November 16 News

Marino named head of Chelsea Piers volleyball program

NEW CANAAN—Kevin Marino has seen his coaching career take off in this past calendar year.

First, he was named head of the girls volleyball team at New Canaan last season, leading the Rams to their first state tournament appearance in three years, and first FCIAC tournament berth in six.

Now, the 25-year-old has been named head volleyball coach at Chelsea Piers, where he has been an assistant the past two seasons.

“I’m really honored to be the head coach here,” Marino said. “It’s a great volleyball program, a great facility. The transition for me is easy because I’ve been in the program for two years now, I was with the regional team and led our U18 Nationals team this year.”

The next step for Marino is to be the face of the program at Chelsea Piers.

“We have a lot of kids in our program, so I think the thing I’m challenging myself the most to do is to get the know every player in our club on a first name basis,” Marino said. “Where I can say hello and know them beyond volleyball, ask how their day is going. It’s establishing a connection with every player in the club and make everybody feel welcome.”

On the court, Marino will have to shortage of talent to work with, and is looking forward to adapting his coaching style from day to day and even hour to hour.

“We have a lot of talent in our club,” Marino said. “Girls who are going to play Division III, girls going to play Division I. It’s a lot of fun to work with people who have that much talent and also our younger program to make their high school team or just serve the ball over the net. You get a really wide range of talent and as a coach it’s so much fun.”

To that end, Marino will rely on his seven years of experience as an assistant, as well as his one as the head of New Canaan.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a lot of fun,” Marino said. “I’ve had experience coaching JV before, coaching varsity and middle school. To work with different age groups is a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge because with the younger kids there’s so much joy on the court and then you go up the ladder with the older kids and you get that raw intensity. So, it’s a lot of fun and you get to look forward to different parts of your day.”

And when he looks back at all he’s accomplished in the past year, it’s a mixture of satisfaction plus the desire to continue to grow.

“It’s been great,” he said. “It’s been really humbling because I still have so much to learn. I was an assistant at Joel Barlow for four years before New Canaan, I put in a lot of hard work so it’s nice that it’s paying off and it’s cool that I have roles where I get to learn more and grow this game in our area. I’m extremely happy and humbled.”

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aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

Anthony E. Parelli|Sports Writer, Sports Editor

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