New coach emphasizes individual performance
Because he is now working on campus with his wife, Jennifer, new volleyball coach David Tatum rides his motorcycle to school. Tatum is the newest edition to the coaching department.
When new varsity volleyball coach David Tatum joined the staff, he found it difficult to balance a career, coaching and a family. Then he came up with a solution: combining family time with sports events.
Tatum now coaches volleyball on campus alongside his wife, Jennifer, the girls' P.E. and soccer coach.
Although new to the school, Tatum has a long history with volleyball.
"I didn't start playing volleyball until high school," Tatum said. "I'm not sure what inspired me to love the sport, but the moment I started to play I fell in love. It's always challenging and you can always get better."
After graduating from Buchanan High School, Tatum attended Point Loma Nazarene University and completed a bachelor's degree in philosophy and theology in 2004. He continued attending school and received a master's degree in 2007 with an emphasis in Christian education.
During Tatum's college career, he led a boys' club team while still playing volleyball on campus.
"Girls' volleyball is extremely different from guys," Tatum said. "Guys are at a higher level of competition than girls and run a more complex offense due to skill. But girls' are better team players and aren't selfish like guys."
Tatum has experience in both teaching and coaching. In the past he has taught "Jesus in the Christian Community," a class at Fresno Pacific University.
"I enjoy taking what I have learned and sharing it with others," Tatum said. "I'm passionate about volleyball and about my faith."
After a month on the job, Tatum said he enjoys his position on campus. He appreciates the support he has received from staff and parents, he said.
"My goals for the team ... [include] individual improvement. Hopefully we will have a safe season and once again see our team up on the banner." --David Tatum, varsity volleyball coach
"I love the fact that I am coaching at a Christian school where I can pray with the girls and talk with them about what it means to follow God," Tatum said. "Cynthia [Ward], as athletic director, has been a huge help, and I have great support from the parents."
Varsity player Sam Kaiser, '10, looks forward to playing under Tatum for her last volleyball season.
"I like him because he explains things thoroughly," Kaiser said. "He is amazing, and an excellent coach. I think we will go to playoffs."
Tatum said he has gotten a positive impressions of his team, complimenting their work ethic.
"[The players] are hard workers," Tatum said. "They have great work ethic, and as a coach I hope to continue to reinforce that and build on it. They know how to get the job done, but also have fun doing it."
Junior varsity player Amanda Merzon, '12, said she looks forward to playing for Tatum in upcoming years.
New volleyball coach David Tatum, center, spikes for a point while playing in college for Point Loma Nazarene University. Tatum, who has coached both boys and girls, says he fell in love with the sport as a high school student.
"Coach Tatum is very talented," Merzon said. "He is more laid-back than other coaches, but is also intense [in coaching]. He focuses on the basics and everyone has improved. I look forward to playing on his team so I can get a different point of view and develop a higher skill."
Because his wife also works on campus, Tatum spends more time with her each day.
"There is no awkwardness working with my wife," Tatum said. "We are a team at home and we are a team now at work. It just means we get to be a team in both places."
Along with coaching, Tatum enjoys riding his motorcycle, both on the tracks and in the mountains.
"I started to ride in college down in San Diego," Tatum said. "I enjoy riding on the tracks, but it's too expensive. I ride my motorcycle every day as a commuter car, and highly enjoy it."
Tatum said he holds high expectations for the team, and intends to focus on individual performance.
"My goals for the team are for the girls to come together as a team and for individual improvement," Tatum said. "Hopefully we will have a safe season and once again see our team up on the banner."
The first home game will be against Riverdale High School, Oct. 6.
For more information, e-mail Tatum or check out Tatums on the trampoline. For more coverage of volleyball, visit the Volleyball sport shorts.