Celebrating Will Ethridge – the GOAT

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Will Ethridge Staff Photo

William Hackney, Santa Fe Staff Writer

Edmond Public Schools has always been known for having well-distinguished volleyball teams. Now Edmond Santa Fe’s long time coach, Will Ethridge, has taken a huge step in that process earning his 1,000th win during senior night on September 29th, 2020. 

Ethridge has coached for Santa Fe’s volleyball program since its inception in 1993, and a lot has changed since he began coaching. The one thing that has stayed constant throughout the past 27 years is the dominant volleyball program he has established. Although what Coach Ethridge has given to this program is countless wins, he has provided more for those who work and play alongside him.

“He is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), he knows what’s going on, and I have never been around anybody that knows how to prepare for a match like he does,” assistant coach Larry Truesdell said.

Coach Ethridge started coaching at Santa Fe as a very successful player himself looking to extend his career into teaching others how to become great players.

Reflecting on his career start, Ethridge said, “In the beginning becoming an avid volleyball player both in the sand and on the hardcourt, combined with my teaching profession I was starting, made it an easy transition. Our first principal, Roberta Gaston, took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t much more than a competitive volleyball player, she made me the head coach at Santa Fe and the rest is history.” 

Ethridge’s winning history includes advancement to the state tournament for the past 28 years. 14 state championship games and seven state championship titles. His 1000th career winning game not only celebrated his talented senior players but also boasted a shutout against Moore in a 3-0 victory.

Coach Ethridge may be nearing the end of a successful career, but he has already stated he is planning on continuing to coach even when his teaching career is over. 

“Will is going to retire from teaching full time and just take a couple of hours to coach volleyball. That’s going to be a little bit of a change with him not being here all day but I don’t think the change will affect what our volleyball team does” Coach Truesdell said.

Ethridge’s 27-year career as Santa Fe’s women’s volleyball coach has transformed the team and cemented the star status of Santa Fe volleyball in the state of Oklahoma.