Patty Brummond’s extensive volleyball knowledge and her familiarity with Marian Central’s traditional powerhouse program carried her a long way.
Brummond, who has coached in volleyball for 20 years in club, grade school and high school, will take over Marian’s girls program that produced the 2015 Class 3A state champion and last year’s 3A runner-up.
Hurricanes athletic director Curtis Price announced the decision over the weekend. Brummond, Marian’s freshman coach for the past three seasons, takes over for Laura Watling, who coached Marian to a 243-80 record over the past eight seasons. Watling was an assistant with Marian for nine years before that. Watling’s husband, Bill, was transferred by J.P. Morgan to help open two new centers in Colorado.
“I’m very excited to be able to move up,” Brummond said. “We have some challenges ahead moving up a class and losing a lot of seniors. But I’m willing to do the work if (the players) are, and (I'm) totally invested in the program we have here. We have a lot of hard-working coaches who have built a great program.”
Watling’s last two teams were a combined 79-5. Because of their success as a private school, the Hurricanes were subject to the IHSA’s success factor and will be bumped from Class 3A to 4A. Marian lost 10 seniors to graduation, led by Lauren Hanlon, McKayla Wuensch, Sydney Nemtuda, Rachel Noonan and Brenna Koch, all of whom had triple digits in kills. No other player had as many as 30.
Price said there were four finalists interviewed for the position, with Brummond the only one from Watling’s previous staff.
“Having coach Watling leave was a shock to everyone,” Price said. “You want to try to make the transition for the players as smooth as possible. This is someone they worked with and respected and enjoyed playing for. She understands the history behind the program. She knows the success we’ve had and was part of that coaching staff who helped contribute to that success.”
Brummond attended but did not play volleyball at Chicago Taft High School or at North Park University, other than in intramural matches, but has always enjoyed the sport. Along with various coaching positions, she has worked camps at Notre Dame about 10 times since 2000 and coached in Crystal Lake-based Sky High Volleyball’s program.
“I always played it, I loved it,” Brummond said. “I was always a student of the game, and when the opportunity arose for me to get involved at my kids’ school, I jumped on it and it took off from there. I just stayed in it. When the opening came to work with Laura a few years ago, I was able to make that work. I was privileged to make that work there and be under her and be a part of the recent success with the state championship and runner-up.”