Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Warriors Welcome New Coach on Court

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Warriors Welcome New Coach on Court

Article excerpt

Dennis Damp is back, but in a different capacity.

Damp has returned to the coaching profession as head volleyball coach of the girls team at Central Valley High School.

"This is my debut as a high school girls coach," said Damp, who coached the boys volleyball team at Ambridge for 15 years. "I did coach the women's team at Robert Morris in 1982 when I was in college. I got the job by default when the head coach was fired."

Damp was an assistant boys coach at Montour from 1985 until 1988. He became Ambridge's head boys coach in 1994 and coached all but two seasons until 2010.

"I took off two years in 1998 and '99 after my daughter was born," said Damp, who led Ambridge to consecutive WPIAL Class AA titles in his final three seasons. "I had to stop coaching in 2010 due to family concerns. My parents were having some health issues and had to move in with us."

Ambridge won a PIAA title in Damp's final season.

"It was a great way to go out," Damp said. "But I knew it wasn't my last year of coaching."

Damp knew he would be back. He just didn't know when or where.

"I was surprised to hear that Haley had stepped down," said Damp, referring to former Central Valley girls coach Haley Dzumba. "Haley coached for 12 years or so."

Damp is very familiar with Dzumba and Central Valley because he lives in Monaca.

"When I saw the job opening at Central Valley, I figured it was the perfect time to get back into coaching," Damp said.

Central Valley tied with Montour for second place in Section 3- AA last season. The Warriors won in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, but lost to Blackhawk in the second round.

"Coaching girls volleyball is a little different than coaching boys volleyball, but it's still the same game," said Damp, when asked how different the two are. "It's been a learning experience for me, but it's also been fun. …

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