Posted/Updated: 6/29/2017 11:27:40 AM

Morning Call boys volleyball: Ken Dunkle of Emmaus is coach of year

Emmaus High School head coach Ken Dunkle quietly joked with his assistant Jarred Kostic prior to the boys volleyball season.

The two coaches said if the highly talented Green Hornets didn't win a district title this season, they'd both consider retiring. That's how much confidence the Emmaus coaching staff had in their team.

In the offseason, the Green Hornet coaches and players spend countless hours in the gym, which helped form some of the best players not just in the Lehigh Valley, but in the entire state. So, naturally, the expectations were at an all-time high for Emmaus.

"At the risk of jinxing our season, Coach Kostic and I would joke around," Dunkle said. "We knew we were strong in all positions and well-balanced. I actually felt like it put more pressure on me as a coach. I knew we had a team that could go deep in states and possibly win it, so I had to make sure I didn't screw up."

The Green Hornet players did not let their coach down as they easily claimed the District 11 Class 3A title, then made a deep run to the PIAA semifinals.

Following a successful season, and for his devotion to Emmaus volleyball, Ken Dunkle is The Morning Call boys volleyball coach of the year.

"[Coaching Emmaus volleyball] definitely takes up a good bit of my time, but I've got a lot of great help," Dunkle said. "Jarred Kostic is my assistant coach and brings a ton of experience and technical knowledge to the team. Karyn Moll runs the JV program and will probably take over stats since my manager graduated. Bobby Spengler also helps out with the program when he can."

While Coach Kostic keeps the Green Hornets structured, Dunkle brings more of a fun, laid-back approach to each practice.

"Our practices probably are not what you would expect. Jarred likes a more structured practice, and I prefer more scrimmaging so we can find a balance. I think both are important," Dunkle said. "I think for the most part, the guys have fun in practice, which at the end of the day, I think is important. It's their high school experience and it should be fun. I think a district title would be pretty meaningless if the guys hated going to practice every day.

"I have four sons and Jarred has three, so the players really just become more sons that we are raising. It was a great season and I'm extremely proud of my guys. Not only for their accomplishments on the court, but what a great group of young men they are."

Dante Terenzio is a freelance writer.


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