Mary Lile is coming home.

The Van Horn High school grad has taken over for Dean Rausch, who has retired, as the head volleyball coach at William Chrisman High School.

“I grew up in Independence,” said Lile, who has coached for more than 30 years. “This was a great opportunity to go back to my hometown. I have friends and family close and this is a chance to build a program. That’s always exciting.

“The athletic director (Greg McGhee) had called me, so he got my name from somebody. I said I would come and take a look at things and I liked what I saw. They are improving their programs across the board and they putting money into them, so I thought this was a great opportunity.”

Lile has spent the last six years as the junior varsity coach at Lawrence Free State High School and has stops at Notre Dame de Sion, Benedictine College, William Jewell College and the Heart of America’s HAVOC professional volleyball team.

As a head coach at Sion, Lile compiled a 135-33-4 record while being named Coach of the Year by the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association in 2001 after winning a state championship. She left Sion in 2004 to be an assistant coach at William Jewell College, and in 2005, she was named Co-Heart of America Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year with head coach Allison Jones. Starting in 2006, Lile was the coach for seven years at Benedictine, where she achieved a 108-96 overall record at the NAIA school.

She’ll inherit a young Chrisman squad that went 13-18 last season and fell in the first round of the Class 4 District 15 tournament.

“There’s a lot of talent here,” Lile said. “I got to watch the summer league games here and I liked what I saw. I got to watch their workouts and they work hard and listen. A coach cannot ask for anything more.”