After two seasons as the North Idaho College head volleyball coach, Kandice Gregorak stepped down for family reasons last month.
“I’m going to miss my friends here; I’m going to miss the staff here; I’m going to miss Coeur d’Alene; I’m going to miss everything about it,” Gregorak said. “There’s no doubt about it. I don’t have anything negative to say.”
Gregorak said she resigned so she can live with her husband, Ty, in Montana. Ty is the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at the University of Montana.
“In marriages you always have to make sacrifices, and I guess I was the one that had to move,” Gregorak said. “It’s a decision we made together. He was very supportive the whole time I’ve been here, but it was just like, it’s time. We’re not going to keep living in two different states.”
Assistant coach Kelsey Stanley took over as the interim head coach.
“I guess I can say I kind of saw it coming,” Stanley said. “But then I was really hoping that it wouldn’t happen.”
Stanley said that Gregorak has been giving her volleyball advice from recruiting to practice.
“She’s been helpful and she will be helpful forever,” Stanley said. “I feel like I’ll always have her to go back on and say ‘hey what do you think.’ She helps me. She will be helping me with practice, just ideas, especially recruiting. She’s still there, but not physically.”
Stanley said that there are candidates for the head coaching vacancy, including herself. She thinks that a head coach will be named by March 1.
“I love NIC; I love the program; I love these girls,” Stanley said. “I just want the best for this program whether it’s me as a head coach or someone else that’s awesome that they bring in. But I want to make sure these girls get the best.”
Gregorak finished 48-18 in her two seasons at NIC including two top ten finishes at nationals, a Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship, and a SWAC Coach of the Year Award. This past season the Cardinals were ranked at the top of the NJCAA polls after an undefeated 13-0 start.
“My favorite memory this year is beating Salt Lake to go to nationals,” Gregorak said. “I’ve never seen myself cry or go jump on the girls before. I was in a dress for god’s sake and I’m jumping around, diving on the floor with the girls.”
Gregorak said the team she coached her first year at NIC was the closest team she had ever been around.
“It was just like they believed in me; I believed in them; they believed in each other,” Gregorak said.
As for Gregorak’s future, she is not sure what path she will take in Montana.
Gregorak was the assistant volleyball coach at the University of Montana from 2007-2010 and she obtained her master’s degree in business administration from the school also.
She also is looking forward to starting a family.
“That’s what I’m most excited about is. I can’t wait to be a mom.”