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September 21, 2023

Former HHS standout David Stanton aims to turn SJCC volleyball program into NorCal power

David Stanton faced a monumental task when he was hired in May to become the new San Jose City College women’s volleyball coach. 

Since the sport is played in the fall, the prime recruiting period had long passed. Situations such as Stanton’s usually go two ways. Most of the time, the program struggles to recruit the minimum number of athletes to field a team, let alone earn a couple of victories. 

Occasionally, a coach who is rising in the ranks and is adept at recruiting can put together a decent team in rapid fashion, and that’s what the Jaguars may have in Stanton, a 2014 Hollister High graduate. Through the last week of June, Stanton had already gotten 11 commitments for the upcoming 2023 season. 

That’s even more impressive given the number of players who were on the roster in May. That would be zero. SJCC didn’t field a team last season so Stanton is starting from nothing—and he loves it. 

“It’s been a grind to create a team, but it’s also an exciting time for me,” Stanton said. “I’m creating a team I have chosen which I like, and it’s a no expectations kind of deal because we’re coming from scratch. Just an exciting time.”

Stanton is particularly excited to have assistant coach Latahevai Lousi one chair over. Lousi is a former San Jose State University standout, earning all-Mountain West Conference honors at outside hitter in 2021. 

“Latahevai is really good for our culture development, a really solid volleyball player all around and knows the game very well,” Stanton said. “She’s going to be huge for our team’s development.”

Stanton expects to add at least a couple of more players to the roster by the start of the season. He’s well-connected to the Bay Area volleyball scene, both for the indoor and beach game. In addition to his new role at SJCC, Stanton also coaches at Vision, one of the premier club programs in Northern California, and at Mandala, an upstart beach volleyball club program that is led by Jeff Alzina, who is the all-time winningest coach in AVP history.

Alzina is also the women’s indoor volleyball coach at Santa Clara University. 

“Jeff has been pretty awesome since I’ve been coaching with him the last six months,” Stanton said. 

SJCC also helped Stanton connect to players in the immediate area, including former SJCC players who still had eligibility left. 

“It’s been crucial to my recruiting,” he said. “San Jose City has been really good at helping me reach out and connecting to people that I may not have been able to connect with otherwise.”

Stanton also relied on the network he built while he was an assistant coach at his alma mater, San Jose State University, from which he graduated in 2018. That same spring, Stanton got his start into the coaching world when he became the Hollister freshmen boys volleyball coach. 

Stanton coached the junior varsity squad the next year before deciding to return to school to earn his Masters in 2022. From there he served as an assistant coach for San Jose State’s indoor team—he was previously a volunteer assistant coach there—and added Mandala and Vision coaching duties as well.  

Stanton, who was a standout football and volleyball player at Hollister, never thought he would get into coaching because it would’ve been too tough for him to not be on the field. But, he realized the next best thing to playing is coaching. 

“It’s been a journey,” he said. “Back when I was in undergrad, I didn’t think coaching was what I could do because I thought I would miss sports so much and would want to play. But once I started coaching, I enjoyed the aspect of building someone up, being that person that could guide them in certain directions, being a role model. I felt like some of the best connections of my life were with coaches. After the first year coaching at San Benito, I thought coaching was something I could do as a career.”

SJCC has nowhere to go but up. Since their last winning season in 2005—yes, 18 years—the Jaguars have toiled in obscurity, racking up some of the worst records in the state. They finished 1-26 in 2009, 2-19 in 2012, 1-16 in 2013, 0-17 in 2014, 0-23 in 2015, couldn’t field a team in 2016, went 2-18 in 2017 and had another winless season in 2018, finishing 0-20. 

Past history doesn’t deter Stanton, because he knows it has nothing to do with what he’s doing now. He’s got some talented and hard working players who are expected to improve and be difference makers. 

“My first year I don’t know what to expect, but I have a positive outlook on what the team is going to look like,” he said. “Between me and Latahevai, we’ll be able to train the girls with the goal to be pretty competitive in our conference. It’s hard to know, but we have a couple of months to figure it out now, and they’re doing good things in training. 

“It’s exciting to see what’s going to come and build this program back. The boundaries are kind of limitless at this point and hopefully we keep improving every single year and eventually down the road look for that conference championship or state run, whatever it is.”

David Stanton served as an assistant coach for San Jose State’s beach women’s volleyball team.
Emanuel Lee
Emanuel Lee primarily covers sports for Weeklys/NewSVMedia's Los Gatan publication. Twenty years of journalism experience and recipient of several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. Emanuel has run eight marathons with a PR of 3:13.40, counts himself as a true disciple of Jesus Christ and loves spending time with his wife and their two lovely daughters, Evangeline and Eliza.

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