By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Bruce Myers, the new head coach of the McNary volleyball team, is excited to wear blue.

Myers grew up in Eugene, six blocks from the University of Oregon campus, but for the past 21 years—19 at Roseburg, followed by two at Sprague, he had to suit up in orange and black—Beaver colors.

But the new color scheme isn’t all that attracted Myers to MHS.

“It’s a 6A school and they have good tradition and I really like the philosophy of the school,” Myers said. “Keizer is their own community and you really feel the community support and the kids believing in the community.”

After graduating from Southern Oregon University in 1978, Myers taught at Douglas High School in Winston for 31 years and was the head volleyball coach for eight years.

Myers’ teams finished in the top 8 in the state three times, including fifth in 1984.

Taking over at Roseburg in 1994, Myers then won nine conference championships and placed in the top 8 in the state nine times, including state runner-up his final season in 2012.

He was named National Federation of High Schools State Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

“McNary High School is excited to have a quality coach for our volleyball program,” Athletic Director Ron Richards said. “Coach Myers has a wealth of experience, experience in big games on a big stage. McNary has a tradition of strong volleyball and coach Myers can help us to maintain that tradition and keep it growing.”

Myers moved to Salem two years ago to be closer to his three grandchildren.

His son Travis is the new head boys basketball coach at West Salem.

Myers said the key to his coaching success is talent.

“Pure and simple,” he said. “I had extremely talented kids that were highly competitive.”

Myers will bring knowledge, experience and, most importantly, a love for the game to McNary.

“The girls will learn that I just absolutely love the game and I love coaching and I love being around the kids,” Myers said. “I want to see them grow and become better volleyball players, better students, better citizens.”

His style of volleyball depends on the roster. Myers has won with tall and short girls.

“I had teams where I didn’t have a player under 6-feet in the front row and then there’s teams like my 1984 team at Douglas, our tallest player was 5-7 and we finished fifth in the state,” Myers said. “You adjust to what you have.”

While at Roseburg, Myers noted he coached against McNary in the 2001 state playoffs and he coached on an all-star team with former Lady Celts coach Dan Borresen.

To prepare for the fall season, McNary began having open gyms last week and will scrimmage Greater Valley Conference rival South Salem Monday.

The Lady Celts will also scrimmage Sprague and Dallas later this month.