Former Seguin coach returns to take over Legacy volleyball program

Posted Monday, Jul. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Jennifer Chandler started the volleyball program at Legacy and turned it into a playoff contender, but she’s now moving on to Keller Fossil Ridge, forcing the athletic department to replace the only coach the Lady Broncos have known – and they feel they have done that.

Pending board approval, the school is set to bring in former Arlington Seguin head coach Amanda Shingleton to take the reins.

“She’s a very dynamic coach and person and we’re very excited to have her on board,” Legacy Athletic Coordinator Chris Melson said.

Chandler’s move was based on personal reasons, and it was a tough decision for her to leave the program she fostered for six years. But the mother, who lives in Keller and did while coaching at Legacy, was provided an opportunity that would allow her to spend more time with her 3-year-old son.

“I’ll have a chance to see my son in the morning and on game nights, which I wasn’t able to do [while at Legacy],” she said. “I had been offered opportunities to leave that were closer to home prior, but turned them down because I loved the school district and loved my kids and loved Legacy. It’s a great community with great kids. It’s a great school district that supports athletics and character education.”

Chandler’s understandable desire to be closer to home opened the door for Shingleton, who was actually out of coaching last season. After six years at Seguin, she left coaching to take a job at a friend’s oil and gas company. The move coincided with her husband taking over the basketball program at Texas Wesleyan, and they figured two coaching schedules would be tough to coordinate. But when the opportunity arose at Legacy, Shingleton decided it was worth pursuing.

“I had several phone calls about other opportunities, and I was not interested for several different reasons, but this was a really good situation,” she said.

Already having a job she was satisfied with, she went into the interview as though she had nothing to lose, and her enthusiasm and approach had a lasting impact on the search committee.

“We had to try to find someone that we felt had the energy, desire, drive and passion to do the job that Chandler did. We feel like we found someone,” Melson said. “She was very organized. She had a detailed plan about what she would do and how she would do it. She has a lot of good experience building programs and just her energy level and excitement about coaching young people really stood out in her interview.”

For Shingleton, the process didn’t really feel like a job interview.

“It had been over a year since I’d really just had a chance to talk about volleyball,” she explained. “When I went into the interview, to me it was just a conversation about volleyball and what I can bring to the table and how I can continue to build this program. It was a fun experience and I thought it went very well.”

One of the most exciting aspects of the Legacy job for Shingleton is the opportunity to step into a program that is already on a solid foundation.

“Legacy has a culture of winning that’s already there. So stepping into that, I’m not having to build that and having to create that. I’m getting to expand on it,” she said.

“I am thrilled,” she added. “I think Jennifer Chandler did an incredible job there. Everything I’ve heard about the support from the parents and the kids is just fantastic. So, I’m excited about getting to work with them. I’m excited about being able to pick up where she left off and continuing to build.”

Shingleton hasn’t had much opportunity to get to know her team yet. She’s started tracking some of their summer club play, but with just about a month before tryouts, familiarity will have to come quickly.

“I think with any team you have to make adjustments based on your clientele,” Shingleton said. “So, from year to year, that changes. I’m not going to force any particular offensive or defensive scheme if my kids aren’t capable or it doesn’t fit our style of play. I do look at the individuals that we have and I do fit it to my concepts, but to work with the type of kids and players that I have.”

In order to find the best offense and defense, the Lady Broncos’ preseason slate – especially the early tournaments – will be an important part of the process.

“It’s vital,” Shingleton asserted. “You don’t have a whole lot of time to get it going, so those preseason games, and those tournaments especially because you can get so many games in, it’s a good opportunity for me to see all different kinds of lineups and different offensive and defensive schemes, and try to see what’s going to work best with the type of kids that I have.”

And while tryouts and the preseason will be here soon, it can’t come quickly enough for Shingleton. If anything, her year away from volleyball has refueled her already deep passion for the game.

“Once coaching is in your blood, it’s hard to get rid of it,” she said. “It’s a part of me and I’m really excited to get back in it.”

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