Shannon Coughlin set to open volleyball camps in Oregon

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

For years, Clay alum Shannon Coughlin grew up playing volleyball at the Oregon Recreation Center, and, after seeing her career reach the professional ranks, she wants to go back to her roots and teach young girls the sport. Coughlin, who graduated from Clay High School in 2017, went on to play collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before separate stints in Cyprus and, most recently, in France.
The Oregon native talked about what she’s been doing since she got back from Europe last month.
“I just got back in early January from France. I’m back in Oregon for a little bit, so I’ve been working with Oregon’s recreational league, assisting at practices, and getting the girls to understand the game. Alongside helping out, I am also running my own camps,” Coughlin said. “I want to kind of share my love for the game, especially with the younger kids. I figured since I was helping with the rec league, I could help kids in grades three to six (at a camp) hone their volleyball skills and share my love of that. I’m open for a conversation with anyone.”
The camps will be held at the recreation center on Feb. 24-25. The third and fourth grade sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, and the fifth and sixth grade sessions will be held from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
“I played in this rec league in third and fourth grade. I thought it would be a way to give back to a program that helped me,” Coughlin said. “It’s a good way to give back and reach a younger generation of volleyball players.”
Coughlin is looking to get the word out.
“On Facebook, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, and my family and friends are trying to get people to sign up their kiddos. Hank and Tim at the rec center are helping me get this whole thing started with the help of athletic directors and principals in Oregon. Everyone has been supportive of it. There’s been a lot of positive interaction,” she said. “I’m limiting the camps to 24 kids because there’s just one of me, and it allows them to get close, for me to do one-on-one coaching and help them develop their game and skills. We try to keep the numbers not too overwhelming so I can be a coach and a teacher to those players that will be attending the camp.”
Coughlin played in Quimper, which is in the Brittany region located in northwest France.
Before that, she played professionally in Cyprus.
“I decided that I wanted to play again, and I was talking with my agent, and I stayed there for about half the season. I got back to Oregon in January. I’m unsure yet if I’m going to keep playing or not. In Europe, I’m really not sure because going long-distance is tough — I missed Christmas and Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), but I’m so grateful for the experience. I would push people to get outside their comfort zones because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s the same situation as Cyprus. I’m unsure of what I might want to do or what my next move is going to be in the game of life.
“Brittany is where you’ll find the nicest French people, they’re super welcoming. It’s a rainy little town. The weather isn’t as great as it was in Cyprus, but I enjoyed it, and there were a few other Americans on the team that I was able to be with and I enjoyed that. Cannes and Paris – we traveled all over the country and I got to explore France and learn about a different culture. It’s a different game. My boyfriend came to visit me; we were in Paris for Christmas, and I did enjoy my time there. Paris is like a country of its own there. It was really cool. I was taking French lessons, I know some basic greetings and how to order food in a restaurant.”
Coughlin, who graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, is working as a substitute teacher in Oregon and Genoa.
She talked about playing for her coach in high school, Dave Conley.
“I played varsity for three years, and we were always pretty solid in the TRAC,” Coughlin said. “I think we ended up (finishing) third a few times, but we were always solid and had strong players.”
A family of athletes
Coughlin has three sisters and a brother, all of whom competed in athletics.
“My family has always been involved in sports, whether it’s soccer, basketball, softball or volleyball. I decided heading into high school that volleyball and basketball would be my focuses. I grew up watching my sister get dragged to tournaments in volleyball. I played for the Toledo Volleyball Club in Maumee. I would play there after our season was over, and I’d head to basketball practice in winter, then after practice or games in basketball, I’d go to TVC,” she said. “I started playing volleyball in the Oregon Recreation League. My mom coached me. My family has always been active, my brother played football and baseball, and my other two sisters played sports.”
Her older sister is Jessica Wallace, her younger sisters are Kennedy and Delaney, her brother is Donovan (Delaney and Donovan are twins). Her mother, Patty, graduated from St. Ursula Academy, and Tim, her father, is a Clay alum. “My mom was an athlete as well; she loved playing basketball. She was always an avid volleyball supporter and played that in high school. She was always at my volleyball matches – she was the No. 1 person in my corner,” said Coughlin. “My dad was an athlete. He did the boxing thing, was a Golden Gloves champion, competed in USA Boxing in Colorado Springs and fought in the Olympic Trials. He was a big supporter in me wanting to chase the dream. They were both athletes, always in the gym with us and pushing us to get out on the field or the court. They were super supportive – I couldn’t ask for more.”
“I’m open for a conversation with anyone, and I want to share the game that I love with the next generation,” Coughlin said. To contact her, email


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