Morgan discusses her volleyball past and what brought her to Crookston.
We caught up with Minnesota Crookston volleyball assistant coach Anna Morgan and learned more about what it is that originally brought Coach Morgan to Crookston and how her first year with the team went. Morgan technically was an interim assistant coach for the 2017 season. She has officially been hired on as the full-time assistant coach for the Minnesota Crookston volleyball team. She came to the Golden Eagles after serving as an assistant coach at the high school level at Arrowhead Union High School, Hayward High School and her alma mater Northwestern High School in Maple, Wis. Morgan was a multi-sport collegiate athlete. She played volleyball at Division I Chicago State University, women’s basketball at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and University of Wisconsin-Superior and softball at Wisconsin-Superior. She is a native of South Range, Wis. Morgan earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Wisconsin-Superior in December 2015.
What were the big takeaways that you got from your first season with the Minnesota Crookston volleyball program?
“What I took away from being with the team is that it is a lot more than just volleyball that goes on. I knew that there would be behind the scenes tasks but I enjoyed learning about the different aspects. Having coached previously at the high school level, I didn’t see much of the behind the scenes work because it generally goes through the office at the high school. The behind the scenes tasks, the planning, what goes into making a program successful and making sure that the team is successful as well.”
You were originally going to come here as a volunteer assistant coach. How is it that you first got in touch with the Minnesota Crookston volleyball program?
“I’ve known the old assistant Ethan Grefsrud for the past three years. We were working down in Madison, Wis. at the University of Wisconsin volleyball camps and we got to talking about what our plans were for the fall. I wasn’t sure at the time. I had planned on teaching but I was just going with the flow. We were talking and he said that they were looking for a volunteer assistant and I figured I have always wanted to coach at a higher level and this was my foot in the door.”
What is the bond like between you and Head Coach Sarah Rauen?
“I definitely fit right in with Sarah from day one. We both have similar personalities and are both extremely competitive. We hold our players and our student-athletes to a high standard. We also do want to have a good relationship with them and connect with them. We find a time to goof off when it is time to goof off but when it is ready to play or practice it is time to compete and play.”
What is it that drew you to the college game after spending four seasons coaching at the high school level?
“I think that the biggest thing that drew to me to the college game was the high level of athleticism and competition. In addition, the athletes who are here really want to be here and be successful in athletics just as much as academics. I just really wanted to be around this atmosphere where the student-athletes want to be there and play and win.”
How much did it help in the acclimation process to have the seven seniors in the program who understood what it took to be a volleyball player at Minnesota Crookston and in the very strong NSIC?
“They definitely helped out a lot. They are a group of seniors that are definitely full of character and personality. They accepted us right away. If we had questions they answered them and they were ready to work with us, which was great. It was a really great atmosphere to come into having a large core of seniors who had been around either four or five years.”
You were technically an interim assistant coach last season due to the late nature in which Ethan Grefsrud was named a volunteer assistant coach at University of Wisconsin. How excited are you to officially be hired on as the full-time assistant coach for the Minnesota Crookston volleyball program?
“I’m extremely excited. I think that we have a program that has a lot of great potential. Sarah and I are talking about how we can bring Minnesota Crookston volleyball to the top of the NSIC. There are a lot of things that can happen and will be happening in the future. I’m excited to be here with this program and not only watch the volleyball program excel in the NSIC, but watch all of our programs grow as well.”
You were a multi-sport athlete in college having played volleyball, basketball and softball. How do you think that helped you to understand athletics from different perspectives? How did it help you to become a more well-rounded person and athlete, in general?
“I think that it helped a lot. Not only physically, making sure that I wasn’t running down the same body parts all the time, but behind the scenes as well. I was able to work with a lot of different teammates and coaches in college and in high school, who maybe did one or two sports and different coaches who had high expectations for their own sport. It really helped me to be able to surround myself with people that have different mindsets and different ideas about things. It also helped me to be able to work with them professionally and personally and make it so I can work with anybody.”
Who were the coaches or people that really made you want to be a coach?
“There have been a lot of people who have driven me to want to be a coach and I am sure I won’t cover everybody. My parents were a key part of the driving force that helped me and led me down this path. My father Chris Morgan coached me in softball and basketball for my whole life, volleyball wasn’t quite his scene. My parents were both super supportive of me growing up. I can honestly say throughout my entire athletic career that I can count on one hand how many games they have missed. My head volleyball coach in high school Charlie Hessel was also a key person in me wanting to be a coach. He really made me love the game and he challenged me and brought my volleyball IQ much higher than what it could have been. I have always had great support and people who really want to see me succeed and help me through whatever I need help with. My brother Kyle Morgan also has been super supportive of me throughout my life and I am thankful for him as well.”
Where is your favorite place to get go out to eat in Crookston?
“I am not sure, but I.C. Mugg’s makes a very good cheese burger.”
What is your favorite TV show to binge watch?
“I love watching New Girl. I feel like I am very similar to one of the main characters Jess Day.”
What is your favorite professional sports team?
“I would say either the Green Bay Packers or New York Yankees.”
What is your favorite volleyball memory?
“I would say being named the Daily Telegram Player of the Year for volleyball while I was at Northwestern High School in Wisconsin.”