Ask Tulare Union principal Dr. Michelle Nunley on the departure of Angela Webb from the Redskins' girls volleyball program, and Nunley quickly goes into public relations spin control.
"She's not leaving. She's coming back. There's no way we're going to let her leave," Nunley said.
Nunley, of course, was in a friendly state of denial, and is well aware that she has to find a new varsity head coach for Tulare Union's girls volleyball program
Webb, who guided Tulare Western to the 1996 Central Section Division III championship and directed Tulare Union to at least a share of four East Yosemite League championships in five years, stepped down in November as Tulare Union's head coach.
"She's amazing," Nunley said of Webb. "She's more than a coach to run a whole program like she did. She gave 100 percent and more. The girls on the team were not just players to her, but more like family members. Volleyball is not just a seasonal sport anymore, and Angela went well beyond the call of duty in building our volleyball program. She has done so much for Tulare Union volleyball. We're really going to miss her."
Webb, a 1986 Tulare Union graduate, started her high school coaching career at Tulare Western. She was the head coach of the Mustangs for 10 seasons (1992-2003, she was out two seasons on maternity leave during that span) and returned to the bench in 2008 at her high school Alma mater.
"It's time to be a mother again. It's time to be sitting in the stands and enjoy watching my son Christian play sports, and to be there for my daughter Kylie, as she goes off to college," Webb said. "I'm stepping down at the right time."
At Tulare Western, Webb was the primary figure in turning the girls volleyball program into a high-profile sport on campus. The Mustangs' 1996 Central Section Division III title was the first section championship for a girls sport at Tulare Western. And since Webb resigned as Tulare Western's coach following the 2003 season, the Mustangs have remained one of the top programs in the EYL.
"I'm very proud of what we accomplished at Tulare Western," Webb said. "My goal at Tulare Western was for them to understand what it was like to play at a high level of competition, and I'm glad that they have continued to do well."
In 2007, Webb took a teaching position at Tulare Union where her husband Marshall Webb is the English department head and varsity girls soccer coach. She took over the Redskins volleyball program the following year, returning to a program where she was a star player on the 1984 Tulare Union Central Section Yosemite Division champion team.
It was Webb's goal to get the Redskins back into EYL supremacy like her and Nunley's playing days at Tulare Union when the Redskins won 12 straight EYL titles (1978-89). The Redskins finished at the top of the EYL standings in four of the last five years. The exception was a 14-2 second-place finish in 2010.
"I believe the girls bought into the idea of what it means to be Redskins, and to understand the dedication it takes to be a champion," Webb said. "The key is that belief that you can do it, and these girls did."
Webb was the 2003 Times-Delta/Advance-Register girls volleyball coach of the year. In her 15 years as a head coach in Tulare (10 at Tulare Western and five at Tulare Union), Webb led her team to the Central Section playoffs each season.
Webb was on the 1989 Fresno Pacific women's volleyball team that was recently inducted to the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. Fresno Pacific won the 1989 NAIA women's volleyball national title, marking the first time the school won a national title in any sport.