OECU 1125

By Derrick Smith

Most people who decide to get into coaching gravitate towards a sport that they have a history in. It could be as a player or just the fact that they were surrounded by it most of their life. This is true for Southmoore High School’s head volleyball coach, Audra Landers. She may be one of the youngest head volleyball coaches in the state, but she is no stranger to the sport.

“I started playing volleyball when I was young and I fell in love with it,” Landers said. “I enjoyed the fast pace and how much teamwork it required to be successful.”

While she is new to coaching volleyball, Audra has a solid group of coaches that she looks up to as role models; Santiago Restrepo, Hunter Bishop, Morgan Reynolds, and Orlando Catalan. Each one of the veteran group of coaching heroes has made an impression on her life and have contributed to her coaching style and beliefs.

“Santiago, Morgan, and Orlando poured into me a ton when I was starting out with club and really gave me the love for the game,” Landers said. “Santiago was running the volleyball club at Elite while head coaching the women’s volleyball team at the University of Oklahoma and I watched and learned coaching as well as how to grow the athlete. Catalan was my 14-under coach at Elite and grew my skills exponentially that club season to turn me into a completely different player. Reynolds has been a great mentor and someone I watched get into coaching at a young age that was probably the person that made me first think I might want to do this.

"I met Hunter during my first year coaching for Norman Public Schools and he truly started giving me opportunities and believing in me from the first day we met.”

While she loves coaching and just the game of volleyball in general, Landers says that there is one thing in particular that she enjoys the most.

“I love getting to watch players grow, not only on the court but creating strong young women and building that confidence,” she said.

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