Edmonds-Woodway High School Athletic Director Julie Stroncek said Thursday that long-time EWHS volleyball coach Mike Pittis — affectionately known to most as Pitt — will be inducted into the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame this weekend.
Pittis will be recognized at St. Martin’s College in Lacey around 8 p.m. Saturday, just prior to the state high school volleyball championship matches, Stroncek said.
Nomination criteria for the Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame includes someone who has coached high school volleyball in Washington state for at least 15 years, made a significant contribution to development of the sport and recorded 300 wins as a head coach.
“You don’t have to look far to see the impact Pitt has had on his former players,” Stroncek said in an email. In the Edmonds School District alone, at least five of his former players are now coaching, and all three current EWHS volleyball coaches also played for him. In addition, the head and C-team coaches at Meadowdale High School also played for Pittis.
Mike Pittis is not only one of the most distinguished coaches in our state, but he is also one of the greatest teachers in the history of the Edmonds School District.
Those of us fortunate enough to work side-by-side with “Pitt” (sometimes also known as “Pitt Daddy”) know that Mike has been a great mentor to the many thousands of students he worked with – and a thoughtful peer and friend to the hundreds of teachers and staff members lucky enough to call him friend.
This honor is well earned and long-deserved.
I agree with David’s comment. Pitt was not only my middle school track coach and my high school volleyball coach but also my high school AP English teacher. From what I recall, he was the first in my writing education and career to acknowledge that there is more than one way to write, and to encourage us to cultivate our own voices. In teaching as in coaching, he demanded hard work, but had a gentle touch too. His lessons were never at our expense. I still sometimes borrow one of his favorite sayings—after I give up resistance and finally try what someone is suggesting and it’s successful—”Gee, Coach, it works.” He knew how to coax a better performance out of any individual, and also how to inspire and coalesce the group. And he had one very special skill: enduring a life surrounded by talkative, goofy, moody adolescent girls, with grace and humor and patience. (To my 1988 volleyball team, do you remember “Debbie”?) Thanks Pitt. We are all better for having known you.
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