Darshaya Gallard will lead the Central Wyoming College squad when they hit the court for the new season this fall.
Darshaya Gallard is a California girl at heart, but that hasn't stopped her from achieving success in America's heartland.
Now the 34-year-old has been named new head volleyball coach at Central Wyoming College.
Gallard was born in Orange County, California before moving to Gardnerville, Nevada, where she starred on the volleyball court during her high school career and was named state player of the year her senior season in 2001.
From the Golden State to the Silver State, then on to the Sunflower State of Kansas, where she played on scholarship at Barton Community College for a season, then transferred to Fort Hays State University.
Following her collegiate playing career, Gallard returned home and finished off her degree in social work at the University of Nevada-Reno.
But, her playing days weren't quite over yet.
Gallard went on to play professionally overseas in Sweden, Germany and France for several seasons.
However, she always knew where her volleyball destiny would lead her, she said.
"I knew all along I wanted to be a coach," said Gallard. "I wanted to be able to give the gift to other girls who have the passion and desire."
Now, Gallard will have exactly that chance as a head coach for the first time, having served as an assistant at Cowley County and Seward County Community Colleges in Arkansas City and Liberal, Kansas, respectively.
With the Lady Rustlers due to report for preseason training on Aug. 7, Gallard doesn't have much time to prepare for her maiden voyage as a bench boss.
However, no worries, she said.
"I've often thought about what it would be like to be a head coach," said Gallard. "But, I know I'm ready."
As far as her coaching philosophy goes, it's fairly straightforward, she said.
"Focus, dedication and repetition," said Gallard. "I concentrate on what each individual player brings to the court."
Off the court, Gallard realizes her work extends beyond the lines on the gym floor, she said.
"I want people in the community to come see us play and leave with a good taste in their mouths," said Gallard. "It's my job to let the girls know they have the ability and the right to win. We're going to grow as a program and play at the level we should be."