Jackie Becker is going to move one seat over on the bench of the Van Horn High School volleyball team this fall.
Becker, who has been an assistant coach at Van Horn the past two seasons, is taking over the head coaching role as Nyala Bulock has moved to Raytown to be the Blue Jays’ head coach.
This is Becker’s first head coaching position at the prep level, although she has been a head coach of club teams.
“I am so excited because the team has really done well the past couple of years, and I hope we can add to that success this season,” said Becker, the daughter of Deb Becker, a longtime area prep and club coach who enjoyed success at Blue Springs South High School.
“There are always some nerves with the coach and the players of a new team, but I’ve been with the program two years and the girls know what to expect from me and I know what to expect from them, so that eliminates a lot of those nerves.”
Becker’s head coaching role keeps it all in the family as her fiance, Tyler Rathke, is the William Chrisman High School boys and girls track and field head coach.
“We’re a coaching family,” she said with a laugh. “It’s going to be great to have Tyler to run some ideas by about the team, or fundraising or other things coaches deal with.
“And my mom is great. She was my coach at South and on all my club teams and she went to a lot of my matches when I played at Northwest Missouri State University. It’s great to have her to run ideas by, because she has such a great knowledge of the game.”
Becker, who teaches business at Van Horn and computer science at Truman High School, enjoyed a solid prep career at Blue Springs South and Chrisman where she was first team all-conference, second team all-district, second team Examiner All-Area, honorable mention all-metro and an academic all-state player at Chrisman her senior year.
“I went to school and played my last two years at Chrisman, Tyler coaches at Chrisman, my dad (Mike) is the principal at Chrisman, so with me joining the Van Horn staff we’re keeping it all in the Independence family,” Becker said.
Becker said she is going into her first year as a head coach with a few goals.
“I want the girls to understand my expectations, I want them to work hard and I want to continue the success we’ve had recently,” she said. “I just hope the girls are as excited as I am.”