Guyer volleyball head coach Heather Van Noy was gracious enough to sit down with the Denton Record-Chronicle’s sports department for a new series called “10 Questions With Coach.” Here are Van Noy’s thoughts on myriad topics.
DRC: This will be your fourth year at Guyer coming up. What are you most proud of over the past three seasons?
Van Noy: The culture that we’ve built over the past three years. We’re not perfect all the time, but we definitely have the mentality of learning from our mistakes and growing. We’ve tried to build a culture of building young women up. That’s super important to me. It’s not necessarily something I teach, but is something that is done by the leaders in the program. This senior group will be my largest to graduate, and I think it says a lot about them. They’ve all grown up together, and I’ve kind of gotten to grow with them. Now, they’re going to be taking that mindset into the real world.
What has been the hardest part of the COVID-19 shutdown?
Definitely [not seeing the team]. The face-to-face [interaction] and not being able to hug on them and love on them has been the hardest thing. It’s one thing to talk to them through Zoom and send them workouts, but you become very unmotivated. Being around people motivates you. Most competitors need someone else to compete against. It’s been really hard to not see that. This is almost a whole semester of not being in school. For us, offseason is a huge time for growth, and we just lost out on that. I know everyone is in the same storm, but it still makes it hard because this was going to be a big offseason for us. It just stinks.
I know you’re a big Marvel and superhero fan. Who is your favorite superhero?
It’s really hard to say. I think that I identify with Captain Marvel most because I want to rush in and fix situations. But I love Iron Man because he’s so funny, and he doesn’t care what people think. I think I wish I could be more like him. I wish I could be more open and honest with how I feel about something. And obviously, he’s brilliant. I love Tony Stark.
If you had to karaoke one song in front of the entire school, what would it be?
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. She’s all about girl power and empowering other women. Also, I say “shake it off” a lot in a game, so I feel like it’s kind of my mantra and it’s a really fun song to dance to. I am not the most gracious dancer, so it’s a great song to just jump and dance to.
What is the silliest way you’ve ever gotten injured?
I haven’t really had a lot of injuries, thank goodness. I would say when I was playing volleyball, I tried to play middle, which is not a position you should play if you’ve never played that. I was playing around with the girls and I honestly don’t remember how things like that happen, but I’m pretty sure someone came under the net. It just makes me feel better, so that way I don’t look as stupid.
What is your favorite TV show of all-time?
I have two and I can’t pick between them: Friends and Madam Secretary. I know it’s weird. But I love anything history or government-related. I like Madam Secretary because it’s like a history lesson. Everything they did, I went back and looked it up. So many things were parallel to real life. I also love Tea Leoni. And Friends, you can’t go wrong with Friends. They always make you laugh. I could watch the same episode six times and still find something different that’s funny.
What is your dream car?
A white Jeep. I am getting one. In the next couple year when we start prepping the boys to drive, they are going to get my mom car and I am getting my white Jeep. It’s the soft-top, open Jeep. I grew up with one.
You’re from Southern California, so here’s the million dollar question: Whataburger or In-N-Out?
This is really hard. I will never choose because now I don’t have to since they’re both here. They’re both great. I’m going to be politically correct on this one. I like In-N-Out’s fries better, but I like Whataburger’s burger. But I also like In-N-Out’s burger. In-N-Out, the fries, I see them being cut. They’re so fresh coming out. I am very simple. I just got a No. 1 with cheese [at Whataburger] and I get a double-double when I go to In-N-Out.
What has been your favorite memory so far at Guyer over the last three years?
There have been so many. It’s hard because as a coach, I want to pick a game or how we finished. But in reality, the memories that make me laugh and smile more than anything are stupid things, like when we went to Leander for a tournament and drove to Austin, because I told the girls we were going to see the state Capitol. I told them we were going to make this an educational trip, which they hate, but hey, that’s me.
We went, and parked the bus, and you know you can’t just park a bus in front of the Capitol. We took up like three [parking meter] spaces. It took us like 10 minutes to park that stupid bus. It started misting a little bit. We start walking, and it’s like a quarter-mile walk, and these state troopers drive by us in a golf cart and they tell us that we need to get out of there. I thought they were joking with me, and we looked right behind and a monsoon just hits us. We got completely soaked. The girls spent a solid hour getting ready to go to the Capitol and go to dinner. In five minutes all of that was destroyed.
We got in the bus and mascara is running down their faces. I’m laughing hysterically and having a great time. It turned into a great night because we couldn’t follow through on our plans. We went to the mall, got new clothes and sweats and found somewhere to eat. Silly things like that are my favorite memories.
Y’all are coming off a region final appearance and have quite a bit of talent coming back. How excited are you for this upcoming season with the team you’ve got?
I’m super excited. I don’t know what our future holds with this whole COVID-19 thing. I talked to the girls the other day, and a lot has happened to us, this program and the school dynamic over the course of the COVID-19 thing. [Former Guyer head football coach John] Walsh left, Maggie [Walsh] left, DeCorian Hailey was like our hype man, and he’s [the principal] at Braswell now. A lot has happened, but talking to the girls, they’re just ready to get started. No excuses. Let’s just go.
I’m hopeful that we take advantage of the small offseason time we have together, and pending what UIL says about our season, we’re going to go 100%. We’ve learned we’re very good at dealing with adversity. My goal this year is to make this the most memorable experience that I can for my seniors. This group is extremely special for me. They’ve made it four years with me, and that says a lot about their character and fortitude, that they can handle me for four years. I’m excited to get started. June 8 can’t get here soon enough. I’m ready to go. I’ve enjoyed the family time, but those girls are my family, too.