Amie Wade has experienced volleyball success at many levels.
As a player, she took second in the state. She was an assistant coach at Oswego, when they won a regional title. She’s coached a state champion.
Now she hopes to bring it back to her home town.
Wade, an Oswego native who played in high school at St. Francis and later collegiately at DePaul, was named the Panthers’ new head girls volleyball coach this past week. Wade, freshman coach last year, replaces Sara Polensky, who stepped down to concentrate on her duties as a first-year head softball coach.
It will be Wade’s second time as Oswego head coach.
Wade was the setter on the St. Francis team that took second in Class A in 2000, but the roots are in Oswego.
She went to the old Traughber Middle School, East View. Her sister, Traci (Weiss) West, starred at Oswego.
“I love Oswego High School,” Wade said. “I do feel like I bleed orange and blue.”
Coaching clearly took. In fact, Wade said she loves coaching more than she loved playing. She coached at Marist, from there went to Rosary and then at Oswego, as JV coach for one year, assistant varsity for three years and then head coach.
She moved to Florida, and was a varsity assistant for a Clearwater Central Catholic team that won a state championship.
“I like sharing the things that I maybe wish I would have known when I played, being able to pass those things along,” Wade said. “I have been doing this for what feels like forever. I feel like I have seen most type of athletes, been in almost every position you can be in – unsuccessful seasons, extremely successful. I know the hard work we have to put in to be successful.”
Wade knows that is not easy, particularly in a difficult conference like the Southwest Prairie. Oswego’s last winning season was 2013, when Wade’s sister was head coach. The last regional title, when Wade was on staff, came in 2011.
Wade previously taught at Oswego for five years before her move to Florida, and now works from home in learning, development and training for companies.
She relishes the unique perspective she can bring.
“I love being in the kids’ lives, reaching them and having this mentor relationship, someone they can talk to that has an outside perspective,” Wade said. “I am extremely passionate about moving this program forward, and helping the girls accomplish whatever their goals may be.”