Kanim resigns as KSU volleyball coach

Sean Joseph

Kent State Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy announced the resignation of volleyball coach Mora Kanim late last week. A national search for a new coach will begin immediately.

In her 10 years in charge of the program, Kanim became the winningest volleyball coach in Kent State history. She led the team to four appearances in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

Her resignation came a couple days after the Flashes ended their season by losing to Eastern Michigan in the first round of the MAC Tournament. Kent State lost their last seven games of the season.

Kennedy said he is very fond of Kanim and that it was not easy to watch her resign.

“It’s tough for us to have a change like this, and to have a friend and someone I have tremendous respect for, but at the same time, we have to get better on the court,” Kennedy said. “Part of the reason is we are not competitive in the MAC right now. When you look across our programs, every program is competitive or becoming competitive. Albeit there are wonderful women in the volleyball program, we just felt we should be doing a little better.”

Sarah Wilber, the only senior on the team this year, said Kanim was making progress with the team and the news of her departure was a shock to the team.

“We had meetings about her possibly being let go last year,” Wilber said. “We never expected it to happen this year because we’ve had such change this season. The record might not have reflected it at the end of the season, but the team chemistry, attitude and work ethic is so much better now than it was even before the season.”

Before the losing streak at the end of the season, the Flashes had an 11-8 record and were 6-4 in the MAC.

When Kanim told the team she was leaving, Wilber said there was not a dry eye in the room.

“She told us she had talked to the administration the past couple days and they were trying to go in another direction,” Wilber said. “She said she wished she could continue on with us and that she recruited every one of us intending to coach us our whole careers.”

Wilber said she doesn’t expect a coach to be named for a few months.

“Our entire team is like a family, and (Kanim) is our mom and we are like her kids,” Wilber said. “It’s like losing a family member. She has taught us a lot of life lessons on and off the court.”

Freshman setter Katie Veatch said the team is distraught right now, but the team’s assistant coaches, Tarah Beyer and Scott Carter, will make sure things are business as usual until a new coach is hired. She does not expect off-season training to be any different than last year.

Veatch said she thought both Beyer and Carter would make great head coaches and that she knew at least Carter was applying for the job.

The team has a meeting scheduled for after Thanksgiving and will discuss the next couple of months, Veatch said.

“If anything, this will make us closer,” she said. “Because now we have something to get over.”

Contact sports editor Sean Joseph at [email protected].