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The Underdog

This article was written by students in the "Writing For Publication" class at Dublin Jerome High School taught by Mrs. Trisler. All views and opinions in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions nor policies of Dublin Jerome High School.

The Underdog

Andrea Baylin is the first Dublin Jerome volleyball coach to win a District Championship.

by Alexis Walz and Haydyn Stoner

February 13, 2023

Coach Andrea BaylinThe new head coach of the Dublin Jerome Girls Volleyball program has been changing the program for the better. The Jerome Girl’s Volleyball team has never won a district championship in its 21 years of existence–that is, until the 2022 season. There was an opening position as the head coach of volleyball at Jerome at the beginning of 2021, and, according to Andrea Baylin (new head coach), “Jerome was a good fit and I thought it was a great opportunity to teach kids to win and get better.”

Baylin walked into the Jerome program after they had a losing record of 7-11 during the 2020 season. During Baylin’s opening season, the women’s team improved to a 17-5 record and finished 3rd in the conference. In the 2022 season, the team ended with a record-breaking 23 wins and a District Championship as well–Baylin’s strong impact on the team is evident in their winning streak.

When asked what resources Baylin thought helped push the girls to be District Champions, she talked about the book they read as a team. Baylin says that she likes to choose a book each year that is more female-driven, and this year it was the book Wolf Pack by Abby Wambach. This book is a rallying cry for women to join together, empower each other, and celebrate one another's achievements. Providing inspiration to each player, this book was essential in establishing the team as a whole. Baylin also stated that the community and families from all the teams were a great resource and helping hand all throughout the season. When questioned why she became a coach, she talked about her own high school basketball coach, Mary Ann Grimes. According to Baylin, this woman made a huge impact on her, and since she held Coach Grimes on such a high pedestal, she really wanted to give back to the kids in that way. Additionally, she didn't want to give up the sports side of her life just yet.

As most know, Baylin is not just a coach, but she is also a school counselor. She commented that the two professions play off each other well, both being important avenues for developing strong relationships with students. It also helps how she sees how the students and athletes' mental health affects how they play and how they can help one another.

When asked what her greatest accomplishment was, Baylin explained that winning the District Champions at DJHS for the first time in school history brought her such pride. Even though she played collegiate volleyball and was inducted into the Coffman “Hall of Fame,” she said, “Coaching brings a different sense of accomplishment.” Baylin also said that she loves seeing her athletes succeed. When interviewing Baylin she had an aura of confidence and kindness around her. Baylin was affable, proving that serving as a coach and a counselor is truly her calling.