Lewis Coach of the Year
Summary: Shanon Lewis recently won the Coach of the Year Award from Sports in Schools for all she’s done for volleyball at Cleveland.
Cleveland Volleyball Coach Awarded Coach of the Year
SPS Volleyball Coach Shanon Lewis has spent the past few years building more than a volleyball team at Cleveland High School. She’s been busy creating an environment where players learn life and leadership skills, and build character.
Her dedication and passion toward the sport, her team, and school hasn’t gone unnoticed. She recently won the Coach of the Year Award from Sports in Schools for all she’s done for volleyball at Cleveland.
“What I’ve noticed with Shanon especially, is that it doesn’t matter about the wins and losses,” said Cleveland Athletic Director Jon Hughes. “It’s about getting better and building a program and community.”
Hughes nominated Lewis for the award after seeing the changes she’s made to Cleveland’s volleyball program.
“Her players show up consistently and there’s high participation. They love it, they have a great time,” Hughes said. “On top of that she is a top-notch coach. She’s teaching these kids the technical skills and really you just see the vast improvement.”
Lewis began her volleyball career in high school, which led her to receiving a college scholarship. She started coaching during college and has consistently coached men’s and women’s teams at the high school and collegiate level since, giving her almost 30 years of experience.
Lewis has been at Cleveland since 2019 and has quickly built the program up. In addition to coaching girls volleyball, she started a Cleveland boys volleyball club. The team and club have one of the highest turnouts for sports at the school thanks to her promotion and fundraising skills.
“She’s got big ideas,” Hughes said. “She’s got all these ideas to promote the program and to help raise money and she’s already done that.”
On top of the new uniforms Lewis has helped provide to her team, she’s also helped raise $12,000 for Cleveland gym renovations. The gym was improperly constructed for volleyball—only allowing the team to have one net on the court at a time.
The renovations would allow the school to use two nets on the court at the same time—giving them the opportunity to run volleyball camps, clinics, tournaments, and a Special Olympics Unified Club.
Not only would this provide funding to the volleyball program, but it would also give the athletes the chance to grow their leadership skills.
“It teaches them some leadership and coaching techniques and they get to respect the coaching position a little more,” Lewis said. “I just think that’s a great way for people to grow in the sport. You can’t just play and know the sport; you need to experience all facets of it.”
Lewis is still waiting on the OK from SPS Athletics to start the renovations and hopes that the gym will be ready for tournaments next season.
This summer, seniors on the team will head to a leadership camp in eastern Washington sponsored by Sports in Schools. Then in the fall, the team plans to spend time at Camp Long in West Seattle after tryouts to bond as a group, practice conditioning, and have fun.
Lewis and Hughes are excited about the future of volleyball at Cleveland and hope that the program will continue to flourish throughout the years.
“Anything that’s getting more kids active and participating in sports, I’m all for,” Hughes said. “[Lewis] has the foundation, knowledge, expertise, and heart and energy to do it.”