CONCORDIA, Kansas — On Wednesday, the Cloud County Community College Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Amy Bridwell as the new assistant volleyball coach for the 2019-2020 school year.
Bridwell, whose maiden name was Amy Anderson, will be a name and face volleyball fans in Concordia should know well as she was a member of the dominating 1997-98 Panther teams that won back-to-back, undefeated Class 4A state championships.
Serving as the Panthers starting middle hitter during those years, Bridwell would go on to set the school record in blocks and record the top two single-season attack percentages in program history.
Bridwell was a three-sport athlete at Concordia and earned a basketball scholarship to Sterling College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Science and Health from 2000-04. She'd go on to earn a master's degree at Wichita State University in Sport Administration before beginning her career as a Health and Physical Education teacher.
After six years as a teacher and assistant coach at Campus High School in Wichita (2005-2011), and a pit stop at Phillipsburg Junior High (2013-14), Bridwell returned home to Concordia where and worked for Concordia Elementary (2015-18) and Republic County Elementary (2018-19).
"After moving back to Concordia four years ago, I was very happy to be back in my hometown and knew this is where I wanted to stay and have my kids grow up," Bridwell said. "I reconnected with Deb (Monzon) after getting to know her when she coached me. She's always had very successful programs here and it's exciting to have this opportunity to learn from her."
Bridwell shined as a collegiate athlete while at Sterling College as she earned KCAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2000-01 and was the Conference Player of the Year in 2003-04. The Warriors qualified for the national tournament all four years of Bridwell's career, highlighted by a trip to the Final Four her freshman season.
"I had some very successful years in volleyball during high school. It's actually the sport a lot of people expected me to play, but decided to play basketball in college," Bridwell said. "I love all athletics and the love for volleyball has always been there. This job is a great opportunity for me to get back into collegiate athletics and learn a lot from Coach Monzon."
Deb Monzon, now in her 16th season as Cloud County's head coach and the second year since taking over the program again in 2017, said Bridwell offered the complete package when it came to finding her new assistant.
"We were looking for somebody we thought would be stable, would want to stay in the program and would buy in to what we're doing," Monzon said. "Finding an assistant who wanted to be in Concordia and stay in Concordia was a big thing for me. Amy is going to be a great fit. She's a hometown girl who was a great three-sport athlete growing up. I think she had all the right pieces we were looking for."
Monzon added she believes Bridwell will have an immediate impact on Cloud County's front line, which is set to return three key hitters from last season in sophomores Haven Hamiltion, Maria Garcia Bustos and team kills leader, Dayana Chara.
"I thought we needed some help when it came to our front line with blocking and hitting," Monzon said. "I think Amy, because she was such a good middle hitter, will bring a lot to the table with our front line that I probably can't give to them. She's young and athletic enough still to get on the court and push the girls a little bit."