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From court to clipboard: Karagan Coggin returns as assistant coach

Karagan Coggin embraces with head coach Alicia Williams on the sideline. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

After five seasons of donning the red and white of Bradley, former volleyball player Karagan Coggin will return to the team, this time in a different role.

Ending her Bradley career in the program record books, Coggin has recently joined the Braves coaching staff as an assistant. During her time at Bradley, Coggin set the record for most sets played and ended 11th in kills with 1,066. She is also a former First-Team All-MVC member, helping lead the Braves to a first-round NIVC victory in 2021.

Coming off a season where she nearly reached double-digit kills in 10-plus games, she is ready to take all of this success and spread it to her former teammates.

“This past year I was one of our team’s biggest leaders, so I got to see more behind the scenes throughout the season,” Coggin said. “So, I think as I got to see more and more of that, I started to enjoy that process more. I think that was the biggest thing and then by the end of the season, I kind of knew that that’s what I wanted to start doing.”

Former players have a skillset that normal coaches don’t usually have, as they have been able to experience first hand what their players might be going through on a day-to-day basis.

“She understands how the day-to-day is with being a player, and now on the coaching side, she knows what travel is going to look like along with our operations,” head coach Alicia Williams said. “She also has an understanding of the experiences that the girls are going to have to go through because she just went through those and they’re still fresh in her mind.”

“She can help guide us on how to approach the girls depending on what just happened and how they might be feeling,” Williams added.

Coggin is in a unique position to help players improve physically and mentally, primarily working with the middle blockers. She knows how they may think after tough losses or during long practices, making her a valuable asset to the team.

“I can understand that today’s practice or game was hard and be able to relate to how that affects players not only physically but mentally too,” Coggin said. “Other coaches may not understand that right away.”

With a degree in Middle School Math Education, Coggin would like to move up the coaching ranks in the future.

“I think that at some point I will coach somewhere else,” Coggin said. “I don’t know when that will be or what that will look like, but at the end of the day, my goal would be to be a head coach.”

After losing their last seven games and going 2-16 in conference play, the team can only benefit from the foresight and knowledge that Coggin brings, not just as a coach but as someone who just set, bumped and spiked for five years.

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