Local Sports

Kelly Ingram Came Back Home to Help Grow Volleyball at GHS

Tell us a little about you and your journey to become GHS Volleyball Head Coach?

I played at GHS from 2001-2005. I then went on the play at UAH on a full volleyball scholarship, where I played all four years. I knew going into college that coaching and potentially teaching was something I wanted to do. During high school, I went from being all in on basketball to quickly transitioning to playing volleyball full time. I grew to love it after my 9th grade year. I started playing for a club team and would come back to my high school practices and would “coach” my teammates on what I was learning. That was then I knew coaching was in my future.

I never knew coming back to Gardendale was in my future, after living in Huntsville for so long, but I’m so glad it worked out the way it did. I love the town of Gardendale and there is nothing like coming back to a program I helped lead during my time there, and helping young girls be successful on and off the court. My goal coming to GHS was to get volleyball back on the map and I think I have done that and will continue to do that during my time here.


How do you think the sport of volleyball is progressing in North Jefferson?

I think the sport of volleyball is growing tremendously in the south and I think North Jefferson has jumped on board. As many already know, Merritt Beason has played a huge role in showing what hard work can produce in this sport. She has really put volleyball on the map and made girls go “wow this sport is awesome and I think I want to try it”! I have seen volleyball grow since I started almost 6 years ago here. I went from barely having the numbers to make two teams to having to make really hard cuts. As bittersweet as that is, I love seeing more and more girls each year coming out to our clinics and trying out.


What were your goals coming into the program and where do you think the program is today?

My number one goal of course is always to develop girls and hopefully grow their love for-the game, but I also wanted to put volleyball back on the map by making appearances at Regionals and State. During my time at GHS playing, we made it to State 3 out 4 years I played and I would love my girls to experience that. Although we have yet to make it out of Regionals, we have come close a couple of times and that was progress, which is a win for me.

Another goal was to grow the sport of volleyball and allow little girls to try it out and give them the tools to do so. Running camps and clinics is a good start to that. My ultimate goal, in the future, for Gardendale would be to start a little league in town where they can start young.

What are some of the things you believe need to happen to help your program get to that level?

Of course, every coach wants to say they won State, but it takes so much more than just coaches and players to do that. What I mean by that is you have to have access to club teams and athletes that can make that commitment. Club is extremely expensive and it’s hard to play club and play other sports. I love that our athletes at GHS play multiple sports because I think it is so crucial for their development and they shouldn’t have to choose what they want to zone in on as ninth graders. With that said, other teams have a lot of players that are only committed to playing volleyball and yes that may help them in winning state at times but I’m trying to develop athletes that love what they do and are also good human beings and don’t feel the pressures of “having to play in college.”a  I would love to say I won a State Title but right now I’m content knowing the girls I have are working hard and enjoy what they are doing and in turn are developing into future leaders.