Expanding family prompts Giesler's resignation

Herald Sports Writer

Deborah Giesler had to excuse herself for a second. It’s a sequence she’s probably used to by now and also what ultimately led her to resign as Jasper High School’s volleyball coach. The Greater Jasper School Board accepted her resignation at its meeting Monday night.


As Giesler was describing her decision to temporarily walk away — she said she’d like to coach again in the future — her son Bryce, who turned 1 month old Tuesday, grabbed her attention. He was making noises, gurgling and doing what kids his age generally do: trying to get mom to notice them. It worked. Giesler laughed, regained her thought process and continued.

“It’s not something I took lightly,” Giesler said of her decision. “I thought about it, I prayed about it. I talked to my family about it.”

She added: “It’s hard to (resign) when you love what you’re doing.”

In the end, Giesler, who also works full time at Memorial Hospital as a social worker, was pulled in too many directions and decided if she needed to sacrifice something, it would be her duties as coach. Giesler and her husband, Ross, have two other children, a 7-year-old daughter, Paige, and a 5-year-old son, Brayden. And Giesler’s parents, Linda and Lou Seng, live in Jasper and can help with the kids but Giesler still felt it necessary to step down. Still, it wasn’t an easy decision.

“The girls here worked so hard to be successful and the parents are behind them 100 percent pushing them to work hard,” Giesler said. “The administrators are great and the community supports them 100 percent.”

“Hopefully, it’s not a permanent decision,” she added.

In Giesler’s five seasons, the Wildcats finished 118-60 and claimed two regional titles, three sectional crowns and a pair of conference championships. They also advanced to the semistate final each of the last two seasons.

Giesler hopes to be involved in the hiring process for her replacement and even began putting together a summer schedule for the team after resigning, highlighting Giesler’s connection to the program. Not surprisingly, Giesler said she plans to attend matches in the future. She’ll probably bring along Paige, who cried about the decision because she enjoys being around the team so much.

“I’ll be there cheering them on and that will be hard because I’m so passionate about Jasper volleyball,” said Giesler, a 1997 JHS graduate who played volleyball and basketball for a year at Marian University before transferring to IUPUI. “For Jasper volleyball to continue to be successful, the coach needs to be there 100 percent.”

Giesler noted it wasn’t necessarily the regular-season duties that caused the strain but all the other responsibilities of a head coach: organizing offseason workouts, scheduling summer camps and overseeing youth camps. Giesler was pregnant this entire past season “so it wasn’t anything that snuck up on me,” she said.

The same thing that made the past five years so much fun is what will hopefully allow her to return to coaching again someday: the relationships that are built.

“It’s all the time you get to spend with the high school girls, that’s my favorite part,” Giesler said. "You really get to know those girls.

“Getting to know the girls at such a neat age and they’re coming into their own as young adults and that part is what I’ll miss. It’s just such a neat time in their lives and an important part, and that’s such a neat thing to be involved in with that age group.”

Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.

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