The school year is quickly coming to a close, and so is the era of assistant volleyball coach Jennifer “JJ” Castillo. After dedicating four years of her career as assistant varsity volleyball coach, Castillo has accepted a head coaching position at McKinney Boyd High School.
“The volleyball world is small, and I heard about the position through other coaches,” Castillo said. “It was a prestigious job and I knew it would be a great opportunity.”
Castillo has spent the last four years at Prosper High School working with the volleyball programs, spending most of her time with the varsity team as an assistant to head coach Erin Kauffman.
“My primary role was to support and help out Coach Kauffman, along with designing drills and organizing program-related items,” she said.
She also served as the JV coach early in her career, and worked with the freshman teams.
Castillo said she is excited about her new opportunity at McKinney Boyd. Her role as an assistant coach has allowed her to observe various coaching methods and develop her own strategies for running a successful program.
“I have been an assistant for seven years and been involved in four different programs,” she said in an email. “I want to implement the positive coaching aspects that I have learned from all four programs.”
And while the school is sad to see Castillo go, Athletic Director Valerie Little is delighted with all she has accomplished in her short time.
“We’re really sad about (losing her), but unfortunately that’s part of coaching … they learn what they need to, and then they go get their own head coaching job,” Little said. “But she’s gonna make us proud.”
In light of Castillo’s departure, Little said they have hired a replacement coach to fill her shoes. The new coach, Leslie Jackson, will report to Prosper after working as the varsity assistant at McKinney High School. Jackson also played collegiate volleyball at Stephen F. Austin under Kauffman, and is familiar with her coaching strategies.
“Coach Jackson already knows what to expect from Coach Kauffman,” Little said. “She knows what she’s getting into and is on board with the philosophy, so she’ll come in and do a great job for us.”
Castillo will officially begin her new job in June.
“I am excited and thrilled to have my own program,” she said. “I have been blessed to work under four different coaches and see the different styles.”