When it came to replacing a volleyball coach at Neosho High School, the search didn’t really have to go very far — just a few seats down on the bench.

When it came to replacing a volleyball coach at Neosho High School, the search didn’t really have to go very far — just a few seats down on the bench.

Neosho athletic director Corey Roy recently announced the school has hired assistant coach Amber Gallemore to guide the team during the 2008 season.

Gallemore served as an assistant under Stacy Turner, who resigned after three years as the head coach for the Lady Wildcats.

“I’m very excited about the job,” said Gallemore, who is in the middle of team camp this week at the high school. “I have a great group of girls to work with and a great coaching staff. We have a very challenging year ahead of us due to joining the COC (Central Ozark Conference) and losing five seniors from last year’s team. But, I think we have the tools we need to be successful and that is exciting.”

Gallemore will be assisted by Kacie Grimmett at the JV level and Dianne Vlasin at the freshman level. She will be assisted by Tony Branscum and Jennifer Depoe on the junior high level this year.

The head coaching position is the second for the East Newton High School product.
Gallemore was the head coach of Perris, Calif., a job she held for two years. She returned to her roots in the Midwest to finish up her master’s degree at the University of Kansas. She coached the Neosho eighth grade team while doing that, but after graduation, she moved up the varsity level.

Her time at the junior high level will benefit her this year, as many of the players that are expected to contribute on the varsity will have played for her back then.

The continuity between time spent together at the junior high level and high school level could benefit a rather young Lady Wildcat team that has only three returning starters.

“The girls that played last year already know me and they pretty much know what to expect and the same goes for me,” said Gallemore. “I know their strengths and weaknesses and their personalities. We can jump right into working on things I know we need to improve upon from last year. Second of all, I think I am very fortunate to be teaching at the middle school where I come in contact with my players as fifth graders.
My incoming freshmen had me as a PE and health teacher in seventh grade, as well as their eighth grade basketball coach. I know them by their first names the first day they walk into gym as freshmen volleyball players.”

Gallemore has a busy summer planned for her team.

Along with the team camp, the McDonald County League will start next Monday and run every Monday in the month of June. Also that month the team will take part in the Licking team camp. In July, the team will compete in the Carl Junction team camp.
“I have a lot of goals (this upcoming year) but my focal point this year is to establish a philosphy that will focus on team work, work ethic and having a winning attitude,” Gallemore said. “To me, volleyball is one of the ulitmate team sports. In order to be successful you must have six strong players on the floor at all times who can work together. Also, we need to know how to be successful. We should never step on the floor expecting not to be succesful and in the past, that has been our mindset. The team consists of four seniors, four sophomores and a lot of freshmen. Only three players have varsity experience. But, if we can play as a team, give 110 percent during the season and the offseason, and expect to perform at our peak level every time we step on the court we are going to have a fantastic year.”

Gallemore prepped at East Newton before playing volleyball, basketball at tennis at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan.

Gallemore and her husband, Chad, are the parents of a daughter, Rylea, who will be 3 in July.