The coaching carousel continues at St. Catharine with the hiring of new volleyball assistant coach Jairo Sierra.
Jairo comes to the Patriots after spending the 2012 campaign with Spalding University in Louisville and the 16u team at MAVA in Louisville. A native of Fairlawn, NJ Sierra spent most of his high school career deciding that volleyball was for him. “I played multiple sports in high school until I broke my tibia and fibula as a freshman. After that I could not play contact sports due to the fear of re-injury, but I discovered my passion for volleyball” says Sierra. By his sophomore year Sierra was dressing varsity and getting to play in short stints, but in his junior year he decided that wasn’t good enough. “I really wanted to get better, so I worked out every moment possible in order to improve my skills and be a major part of the team. I was blessed to be able to play behind great players, that taught me a lot about the game just by watching,” says Sierra. In fact, Sierra played for Club 6-pack, a travel team, every Wednesday and by the end of his junior year he had achieved multiple awards, including Second Team All-State.
By the end of his senior year Sierra had accomplished being named First Team All-State, but still hadn’t completely determined that volleyball past high school was for him. In fact, after graduation Sierra joined the Navy, but left after a year due to the wearing away of the cartilage in his knee. “The Navy taught me a lot about discipline, conflict resolution, and how to develop toughness for both mind and body” says Sierra about his time in the Navy. With no other plans Sierra then took the call to play for Ramapo College in New Jersey, where he studied Criminal Justice. While volleyball was important, the decision to further his career in volleyball didn’t come until his junior year. It was then Jairo decided that playing professionally overseas was a possibility and with that the workouts began. As a result, Sierra broke the school’s assist record with over 3900 assists during his tenure.
With awards and records in hand Sierra left school early to play professionally in Europe. However, even there his career was cut short due to a reoccurring knee injury that plagues him to this day. Fortunately for Jairo, he had coached as a volunteer assistant for multiple high school in the sport he so loved. It was this experience that eventually led him to being the assistant coach at Bogota High School where he won 2 state championships. After leaving Bogota Sierra found his home in Kentucky, where he became the director of MAVA and eventually met Jason McDannold, the head coach of the Lady Patriots. “After meeting Jason the decision to coach at St. Catharine was easy. He has a great group of kids and really has a great program put together. I only hope that I can help make it even better and take it to the next level” says Sierra about St. Catharine. When asked about Sierra, McDannold stated that “we are lucky to get such a great addition to our program. This guy knows his stuff and will make my job much easier.” Sierra will make his assistant coaching debut with the Patriots August 13, when the Lady Patriots travel to Caldwell County High School to scrimmage the Mid-Continent Lady Cougars.