Deb has been a volleyball player all her life, although in her high school years in Lamoni, Iowa and Blue Springs, Missouri, basketball competed for her sports attention, too. When she was offered a place on the Graceland University volleyball team, that became her main sport. After two years there she transferred to the University of Missouri, and played on the pre-Title IX varsity squad – when the team travelled to away games by bus and made their own uniforms.
She graduated with a degree in education, and started her career as a coach in the rural Grain Valley, Missouri schools, taking the high school team to the state playoffs in her second year there. She was soon recruited by an international school in England, and in 1980 she and husband Bob left Missouri to start a new life abroad.
Deb spent her first two decades building up the school’s varsity program, as well as raising two sons who played volleyball at a high level – one of whom managed to pay for most of his university degree with a sports scholarship and has, himself become a leading club and school volleyball coach in St Louis, Missouri. In recent years she has set up a “seamless” volleyball program at her school that enables youngsters to enter the sport at age 8, and work their way through to the varsity level by progressing through a series of linked interscholastic and club activities. The school’s club permits students, faculty, members, parents and alumni to all play in local leagues and tournaments.
Deb’s main responsibilities at VbDC involve sales and logistics, coaching, and managing the VbDC finances. She is also leading the effort to introduce a sports scholarship search service which is currently being piloted, and will be offered to the public in 2014.