Sports

Oldani’s love of volleyball demonstrated on, off court

By Chase Stevens ’12
THE ROUNDUP

For more than 15 years, head coach Mr. Tony Oldani has been a cornerstone of the Brophy volleyball team.

“I was an assistant coach from ’95-’98 and have been the head coach since the ’99 season,” Mr. Oldani said.

Oldani’s exposure to the sport started in his high school years.

“I began playing club volleyball and sand volleyball in high school and then played for the club team at the University of Illinois,” Oldani said. “It was during my senior year in college that I had the opportunity to run part of the Illinois volleyball camp and really fell in love with teaching the game,” he said.

His practices are run smoothly and efficiently.

“We believe in getting in and getting the work done,” Mr. Oldani said. Our practices are high rep, game-like situations that combine fitness development with skill and tactical training,” he said.

Mr. Oldani said he has had many influences on his coaching style.

“One of the most significant influences on my coaching was Mark Granger, the former head basketball coach at Brophy… He never prescribed to ‘acting’ like a coach – he simply brought himself wholly into the gym,” Oldani said.

“I never saw him compromise his integrity for short-term success on the court,” he said.

For Mr. Oldani, victory isn’t everything. Volleyball has a much deeper meaning for him than spikes and points.

“It started because it was the sport that my sister, who was a year younger than me, was playing in middle school. I would basically just practice with her,” Mr. Oldani said. “She was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the end of her sophomore year and passed away in October of her junior year. I really started playing seriously my junior year as a way to keep her involved in the game and after her death, it served as my connection to her,” he said.

“That was 1987 and I haven’t stopped loving the game yet.”

This affects his coaching style and he said he attempts to pass this onto his players.

“My approach is to teach the players about love and passion through volleyball,” he said.

Mr. Oldani’s players said they appreciate his coaching prowess.

Oldani is an awesome coach.  He has a more laid back approach which makes the players feel more comfortable around him,” said Ryan Dowd ’12.

“He can get fiery too which makes us respect him as well,” Dowd added.

Dowd said that Mr. Oldani’s No.1 strength is “his consistency.  We know he going to give us his all day in and day out.  His passion for the sport and for our success does not fluctuate.”