Story by Chris Gove
The De Smet Volleyball program was built by Coach Pat Chura during the formation years of St. Louis Men’s Volleyball in the late ‘80s. Mr. Shawn Kendrick then took over the program while Coach Chura was away from De Smet. During this time, the De Smet program continued to grow and succeed creating great men and great volleyball players. This was evident when the De Smet Spartans won State in 1996 and have been competing in the Final Four ever since. Coach Chura returned in the early 2000s to guide the program to more Final 4 Finishes and a 2nd place finish in State.
Coach John Hawkey '96 took over as head coach in 2006 and helped guide the Spartans to 4 MCC Championships, 8 District Championships, 7 Final 4 Finishes, and 1 State Championship. In 2009, the Volleyball Spartans returned to the State Championship and had their most successful season ever, winning the State Championship, finishing with a 30-3 record, and won the Tiger Classic in Chicago, were undefeated in the MCC, won Districts, and finished ranked #3 in the Nation by ESPN Rise.
Coach Tim Haffner took over the program in 2016 and currently leads the Volleyball Spartans.
Story by Ben Vessa
Coach Tony Vitello prepared himself for coaching watching his father, legendary Coach Greg Vitello, walk the sidelines at De Smet Jesuit