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Brez bows out

Longtime West High coach retires

IOWA CITY– One day earlier and it may have been written off as an April Fool’s Day prank.
But Kathy Bresnahan’s post on the social media site Facebook last Wednesday (April 2) was no joke as she announced her resignation from coaching the Iowa City West High Women of Troy varsity volleyball program.
“Today I turned in my resignation as the varsity volleyball coach at West High,” she wrote. While it was a shock to many, for Bresnahan it was the result of much deliberation. “I spent many hours going back and forth and it was not a decision I took lightly. Coaching is a profession that allows people to forge meaningful relationships with unbreakable bonds. I feel blessed and grateful for all of you who have touched my life; West High administrators and staff, MVC volleyball officials, our student body and volleyball fans, our tremendous parents and my coaching peers that I am proud to call friends. Most importantly, I want to thank my athletes from Benton, Wis., and Iowa City West... it has been a remarkable ride.”
In a conversation via Facebook messaging, Bresnahan said she had been, “mulling it over for some time,” and cited personal reasons related to her family. She also noted “we’re going to have a tremendous team the next couple of years so that’ll be an easy transition for someone to come in and succeed.”
Bresnahan has been the coach for West High volleyball for 22 years through two tours of duty (1987-1999 and 2005-2013). Before that she was the varsity coach in Benton, Wis. (1980-1984). She compiled a career record of 671 wins to 205 losses for a 76 percent winning percentage.
With the Women of Troy, Bresnahan racked up a 584-184 record and a pair of Class 4A state championships in 2010 and 2011 as well as a runner-up in 2009.
She led her squad to seven state tournaments in total (1991, 1992, 1994, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).
Bresnahan, or “Brez” as she’s known to staff, players, parents, fans and local media, also presided over seven Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) championships (1993, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and six MVC tournament championships (1993, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).
She was named the Iowa Class 4A Coach of the Year for 2010 and 2011. Also in 2011, prepvolleyball.com named Brez their National Coach of the Year. The 2011 season was especially challenging for the veteran coach and her team as Caroline Found was killed in a moped accident within days of the start of the season. “Live Like Line” became the team’s credo, and the team’s motivation.
In 2012, Bresnahan was a National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) finalist for Coach of the Year. That year also saw Children of Promise Coach of the Year honors, Teacher of the Year recognition from the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce, a Character Counts “Winning with Integrity” award as well as being a finalist for the IACA’s National Coach of the Year.
For Bresnahan, it was always about the kids. “No one enjoyed their job more than I. I had fun. Being around young people is such a rewarding experience... I think as you age, coaching becomes more about the relationships and less about the wins and losses,” she said.
West High Athletic Director Scott Kibby said Bresnahan is a great teacher of the game.
“We are thankful for the dedication that Coach Bresnahan has given to West High and the Volleyball Program,” Kibby said in a press release. “Under her leadership we have had consistent success and multiple championships.”
“Coach Bresnahan truly enjoys working with young people and she has a tremendous touch when it comes to enjoying the game and being serious and competitive,” Kibby said.
The open coaching position is expected to be listed on the district’s website (www.iowacityschools.org) this week. “We fully anticipate attracting an outstanding pool of candidates to work with the outstanding student athletes that we have at West,” Kibby added.
“Whomever they hire,” Bresnahan said, “will bring in some fresh ideas and should experience some instant success. I will be their biggest fan.”