NHS Volleyball Coach Honored with Prestigious Award
Ryan Gravlee, the head coach of the Northridge volleyball program was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) Thirty under 30 list.
This award was created in 2009 to honor up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport who have proven to have success. This amazing recognition stretches across the United States spotlighting the best of the best as newcomers into the field! To qualify for the award, nominees had to be younger than 30 years old in 2020.
Gravlee has led the Northridge volleyball program for the last two seasons and has made a tremendous impact on the program. In two seasons (2019 and 2020) he has managed to flip the program and to make back-to-back appearances to the Classification 6A State Tournament with the Jaguars. This was new to the program since the Northridge Jaguars had never made it past the Regional tournament. This was one of many highlights the Northridge family have gotten to experience upon his stay.
In the 2019 season the team swept through the Area Tournament, downing Hillcrest 3-0 in the tournament championship match. Northridge went on a hot streak with wins at the Regional Tournament against Gulf Shores, Wetumpka, and Pelham, where they ended the run against the soon to be State Champions Spanish Fort. The Jaguars lost first round of State against Albertville finishing 8th in Classification 6A with a season record of (31-15).
In 2020 Northridge volleyball team once again found themselves back in the Top 10 Rankings with a record of (27-13). The Jaguars won the 2020 Area title with a 3-0 win over Hillcrest. Following the Area sweep, Northridge defeated Saraland in the Sub-Regional matchup and downed Pelham for the second straight year to punch their ticket to the Elite 8 again. The season ended for the Jags after a first-round loss to #1 seed Hazel Green!
Gravlee also boasts experience as an assistant coach after working under the former Coach/volleyball legend, Tammy Richardson! He trained under Richardson at MCadory for three seasons before taking his own program as the lead! This upcoming 2021 season will be Gravlee’s 6th year in the High School setting and 6th year as club coach. He currently works as an Assistant Director/18’s Coach at NetForce Volleyball Academy under owner, Saige Beaty.
Coach Gravlee said, “Many factors go into making a program run successfully. I want to start out by thanking God for giving me the ability to play volleyball and the doors he’s opened for me in coaching. My family for being my rock throughout the years and time to come. Karen Atkins, Saige Beaty, and Bobby Daniels for helping in the start of my volleyball career. Dr. Evans and Mike Vickery for the constant support and backing at the high school while trusting me to perform the job correctly. Coaching isn’t a one man show and it takes a tremendous amount of support, trust, and work from everyone involved. I’d like to thank our amazing staff and support which includes Danielle Stephenson, Levi Jordan, Samantha Worley, and parents/grandparents of the players who showed up and traveled to all of our matches. I’m thankful for the amazing athletes who trusted the process of a new coach and for what I've been implementing in the program. We’re truly blessed to have the talent that we do at Northridge and I’m honored to have coached the girls who have now passed through to college. I thank them for helping set the pace for what’s to come and for setting the bar high for Northridge Volleyball. We’re a top-level program that’s now on the map but with much work to come."