Islander volleyball coach Bill Root retires from coaching

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Senior High volleyball coach Bill Root has announced his plan to retire from coaching.

“Coach Root has been a tremendous asset for Grand Island Senior High,” said activities director Cindy Wells. “He has dedicated so much of his life to our student athletes in his time here. We thank him for his years of service to Islander athletics.”

Root, who will continue to teach physical education at Howard Elementary, has coached volleyball at GISH for 20 years.

“It’s been a joy, I’ve enjoyed the whole process,” Root said. “I’m very grateful.”

Under Coach Root, the Islanders have made eight trips to the Class A State Volleyball Championships, including his first season as GISH coach in 2000 and runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2007.

“A lot of great memories,” Root said. “Probably the biggest one is the ’07 team at the state tournament. We played three five-set matches in less than 24 hours, losing to Papillion-LaVista in the state finals, 17-19 in the fifth.”

He started his coaching career in 1980 at Giltner High School, where he reached the Class D, D1 and D2 state tournament a total of nine times, including four state championships and two runner-up finishes.

Root has seen a number of Islanders advance to play college athletics, including at the NCAA Division I level.

“Grand Island Senior High has been blessed to have such a long-serving coach on our staff,” Wells said. “These will be tough shoes to fill.”

Wells said the search for the next volleyball coach will begin immediately.