Holly Franks takes over the Centennial volleyball program feeling optimistic and with a plan in place.
The Tollhouse native, and Sierra High School graduate, played college volleyball at Cal Poly and Fresno State. She’s taking over the first high school program in her coaching career, as the Golden Hawks finished last year with a 14-24 record.
This week the 28-year-old Franks talked about the 2019 season, which is right around the corner.
Q: So this is your first head coaching job on the high school level. You were the head coach at Porterville College and director of operations last year at Fresno State. How does this compare?
A: “It is very similar to when I was at Fresno State as director of volleyball operations, only because the work ethic of these girls is very similar to what we experienced at Fresno. It’s been a while since I’ve had a team like this — that really, really works. It’s very apparent they want to get better, which is a coach’s dream.”
Q: Were you expecting that?
A: “I went into it with an open mind and with a vision of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to instill in them. I want these girls to focus on the process over the outcome. I want them to believe that and know that every day we’re going to get better and better. That will add up to what we want, which is to win.”
Q: Any first impressions of Bakersfield?
A: “It’s hotter than Clovis (laughs). It is definitely hotter. But I love it and I have a lot of family here too. My aunt is (District Attorney) Cindy Zimmer and (Second District Supervisor) Zack Scrivner is my cousin. And my husband went to Centennial as well….So yeah. We spent a lot of holidays here.”
Q: What’s your experience been like so far?
A: “From day one to until now, I’d have to say that I have girls with tremendous leadership skills on my team. They definitely set the bar high for themselves.”
Q: Any that have stood out in particular?
A: “That’s difficult to say because I harp a lot on being a team and the team is greater than yourself. I’d prefer to leave it at that, that I do have a handful of phenomenal players. No one of them is better than the one on the left and the right. They’re as good as their weakest link.”
Q: What do you think you can bring to the team with your unique experience?
A: “I definitely think my standards of how a program should be run are a lot different than what these girls are used to. By no means do I think I am the best coach there ever is. But I think I’ve learned a lot from all the different coaches I played for. In college, I played for four different coaches. At some point, you learn to embrace it. I learned so much about what works, what doesn’t work in regards to coaching styles, and how I responded as a player to those coaching styles.”
Q: What were some things you took away?
A: “Having a strict structure and implementing that every single day. At Centennial we have things we do every single day. Not letting them do one less rep is something I think really just instills that work ethic I’m trying to teach them. And it keeps them honest. Those little things end up adding to something larger. Another thing I think works best as a coach is truly caring about your players. Being 100 percent honest with them and creating that trustworthy environment. I hope all of my players trust me fully, 100 percent. If I’m not doing that and they don't trust me in that way, then I’m not doing my job.”
Q: The local volleyball scene here is pretty good. How familiar are you with the SWYL?
A: “I think there’s a lot of very talented and athletic girls in this part of the valley. I definitely think every school here has very special girls. Just seeing that talent. I think all of the coaches here can say they’re blessed to have those types of athletes.”