Legendary volleyball coach Mark Royer has informed the school he is retiring effective immediately.
Royer, who has led the Vikings for more than two decades, cited wanting to spend more time with his family as a factor in his decision.
“Coach Royer is one of those people who had such a profound impact on the school and the culture here that I would put him up there with Coach Bill Gutbrod,” VASJ athletic director Elvis Grbac said. “It wasn’t just his success on the floor. He reached the kids. He affected countless lives. I don’t think the impact will really hit us right away, but it goes way beyond volleyball.”
Royer played recreational volleyball in his 20s and traveled with a team from Cleveland that faced elite competition. He went on to coach his daughters in youth leagues before he took an opening as the freshman coach at VASJ in the mid 1990s.
During his tenure, Royer led the Vikings to six final four appearances with runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2013, and state titles in 2001 and 2005.
In 2018, Royer won his 400th career match putting him among the premier coaches in Ohio history.
Royer has coached nearly 20 Division I college recruits and countless other athletes that have gone on to play in college.
“There’s a rule we go by I tell all the girls – it’s family, faith, school …. then way down below that is volleyball. We want these girls to understand there’s a lot left to life after volleyball,” Royer said during a preseason interview.
Grbac said a search for Royer”s replacement will be understandably difficult.
“You really can’t replace someone like Coach Royer, but we will do our best to find a person who understands the culture and level of excellence he established,” Grbac said.