New Head Coach Settles into Raider Volleyball Program

Courtesy Photo
The Randall volleyball team stands with new head coach, Haleigh Burns.

Over recent years the volleyball court has absorbed the blood, sweat and tears of the Lady Raider Volleyball team. 

Following a close run for the state title last year, many Raiders where shocked when Head Coach Jason Culpepper announced his resignation. However, the Randall administration didn’t have to look far to find their next head coach. Replacing Caprock orange for Randall black, Haleigh Burns is taking the lead as head coach of the Lady Raiders. With a strong preseason open, Burns along with her players, were eager to start district Saturday against Lubbock Cooper.  

“I absolutely love being the coach for Randall,” Burns said. “Everyone at Randall has welcomed me and made me feel part of the family. The most important thing about coaching is getting to meet and lead all of these girls that eventually become family to me.”

Burns originally started coaching at Dumas High School as an assistant and then went on to be the head coach at Caprock High School. She started playing volleyball in the sixth grade and had a bit of a rough patch, but then grew to love the sport. Eventually, she played college volleyball before deciding to become a coach. 

“I coach because it is the best feeling in the world to watch an athlete succeed and learn the awesome game of volleyball,” Burns said. “ I am also a Health Teacher and I will coach middle school track in the spring.”

As head coach, Burns works mostly with the varsity team during their season but also helps two other coaches with the JV and freshman teams. She said her main focus is scouting who the varsity team will play each week and then using that to determine what skills they need to work on. In addition, the team works on serving, receiving and defense during every practice. Some players, such as senior Addison Howard, are excited to have Burns leading the team. 

“I like our coach because she has a different style of coaching and we focus a lot on our skills,” Howard said. “ I want to focus on being a leader for my team.”

After an away game Sept. 10 against Lubbock Cooper, the Raiders will face Burns’ former team, the Caprock Longhorns at home on Sept. 14.