It’s never easy to step into the shoes of a beloved coaching predecessor – and possibly even harder when that person was practically an institution – but that is the task that lies ahead for Cindy Nikkel, as she has taken command of the volleyball program at Pella Christian High School. She follows John Evenhouse, who retired this past winter after leading the Lady Eagles for 19 seasons.
Nikkel says while it’s a challenge to fill such big shoes, Evenhouse has been very supportive in offering help and advice throughout the offseason, and will continue to be available to her as a resource throughout the season.
“He [Evenhouse] has been very helpful. He’s said any time I need anything to let him know,” said Nikkel. “He sends me helpful emails, we’ve talked on occasion, and he’s still helping the graduates that are playing in college, so we see each other in the gym as well. That’s been nice. ”
John Evenhouse compiled a 489-203-49 record in his career, leading the Lady Eagles to ten state tournament appearances; advancing to the semifinals four times and reaching the finals in 1996.
Nikkel, a Pella Christian alum herself, will lead the Lady Eagles in competition for the first time this season on August 23rd, when they travel to Johnston.