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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Mackayle Weedon
Mackayle Weedon
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My name is Makaylee! I am going to be a senior majoring in Social Media Design Management. I am apart of the Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority chapter on campus! I love thrifting, photography, skiing and going...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

New coach looks to bring instant success

Former Cameron University (Okla.) head coach and Michigan Tech assistant Dominic Yoder is now at the reigns of the NMU volleyball program as Qi Wang’s replacement.

Yoder is still new to the head coaching ranks with just one season under his belt.

Last season he took a team that was 15-14 the year before and led them to a 25-4 record and a conference title on his way to being named Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year.

Sports Editor RJ Walters sat down with the Burton, Mich. native to discuss his future as the leader of the green-and-gold volleyball tradition.

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NW: How much contact have you had with the team thus far and what type of initial steps are you taking to try to get to know them and start helping them out?

DY: Within a 45-day window we are allowed to have 24 opportunities with the athletes between competitions and practices. Right now we’ve practiced eight times, so I’ve had quite a bit of time with them. I’ve seen vast improvements from the athletes, I’m real impressed with their athleticism and size and just their willingness to work really hard on the court and make changes.

NW: You said you see a lot of athleticism out there on the court, but what type of things are you trying to implement into the program and how are you currently trying to help the players improve?

DY: I’m giving them a new system that I think will fit their athleticism and their abilities on the court. I’m bringing in a team defense, a team offense and a team system that also focuses on how we can develop their individual techniques. We are geared towards that in the spring season and hope it can leapfrog into the fall.

NW: Do any of the players really seem to stand out to you as leaders or seem to be able to control the tempo of the team?

DY: I think the seniors (Brittany McGowan and Megan Elliott) are very good when it comes to leadership because they know what they want to achieve and they’ve been in situations before where the team has done very well. They want to bring this team back to that success in their final year and they are motivated and that kind of bleeds down through the rest of the team.

NW: Some of the seniors are on their third coach in four years. What do you think the players are looking for in a coach right now?

DY: I think they were looking for someone to walk in and set a standard of “this is what we are going to do.” They have immediately bought into the system. We spent some time reflecting on what they’ve gone through the past couple of years with a couple of new coaches, but on day two all of that is in the past and we are starting a new career for them which is going to be short for the seniors, but long for the freshmen.

NW: Different coaches have different ideas of how to handle discipline and some have a specific set of guidelines and rules, while others handle each individual situation in unique, yet appropriate, ways. If I was looking at “Coach Yoder’s Handbook” what types of discipline would I see trying to be instilled and how do you do that?

DY: I think it really has to be internal. They have to buy into the system and believe in what we’re trying to do. Discipline can’t come from me every single time, like a whipping stick. It has to come from them and they have to hold each other accountable because I think that’s how most great teams are.

NW: Your wife is finishing out the school year as a teacher in Oklahoma. What are the mixed emotions of starting this new job with her so far away?

DY: It’s really difficult not being able to share the experience with her, but it also affords me the opportunity to spend more time in the office and to really get my arms around the program without influencing my relationship with my wife. She understands and we went through this last year, so we’re just bouncing back into a situation.

NW: Do you see this position as a long-term job or just a stepping-stone for something greater in the future?

DY: I think being here a long time would be very pleasing to myself and to my wife. She said this is my last move. She’s motivated to want to be in this area and she’s motivated to find a teaching job. I think we can definitely raise a family here.

NW: So you are looking to try and raise a Yooper family together?

DY: We’ll have some Yooper kids, but I’ve been told that my wife and I will never be Yoopers. I also heard that if the program wins a national championship then we’ll become Yoopers, so I’m looking forward to that.

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