Chris Smith is the Director of East Coast Power Chesapeake.
He helped start East Coast Power Delaware and fielded 10 teams in the inaugural season. Two teams qualified, and both of the teams were head coached by Chris. The 16 Delaware and the 17 Granite team posted excellent results the entire season. 17 granite finished among the best of the best at every tournament they went to, including nationals in which they received the bronze medal for a 3rd place finish in the 17 national division.
The club then expanded with the addition of a branch in D.C. becoming East Coast Power Chesapeake. Prior to this season Chris has qualified 11 teams in 6 seasons including an open bid being Delaware’s first ever open bid recipient as well as a 5th in 13 national division, the highest finish of a Delaware team ever until the 3rd place finish with 17 Granite in 2019.
Chris has coached for Delaware juniors, Brandywine and East Coast Power. Across all three of these clubs his teams have always demonstrated the competitiveness needed to be relevant on the national scale as well as the regional scale.
He has spent two seasons as a Division II college coach where his team went from last place in the conference to making the conference tournament in just two seasons.
He also spent two seasons at Delaware Military Academy leading them to a 32-1 record over 2 seasons and a state title. During that time DMA fielded one of only 12 athletes to ever be named a 3 time Gatorade player of the year in setter Sydney Fulton.
A constant student of the game, Chris has participated in the sport at every level as a coach, player, and official. He’s attended numerous coaching clinics including Gold Medal Squared, Art of coaching and several others.
ECP Delaware Coordinator
Coaching Philosophy: I believe that athletes perform best, at any level, when learning in a positive environment at a competitive-appropriate level. I coach with a combination of truthful, specific praise and constructive criticism with high expectations of a dedicated work ethic. I believe positive reinforcement opens an athlete to hear and heed the necessary corrections that will lead to the development of a well-rounded athlete and competitive teammate. I coach technical skill AND mindset. Practices should be fun and focused, while allowing athletes to work outside their comfort zone and make mistakes. My hope is that those I coach leave with a deeper love and understanding of the sport, and skills that translate both on the court and in life.
Best Volleyball Moment: Coaching a team that placed 2nd in the American Division of NEQ, and also when a former player became a high school coach
My Life in Sports: I have experienced volleyball from every angle over the past 30 years: coach, official, statistician, player, and parent. I have a passion for the sport! I love to compete! From a very young age, I always felt the call to “beat the boys” at whatever sport was being played. Girls organized sports became available to me in middle school. This is when I joined the volleyball team and fell in love with this fast, dynamic sport!
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I’m watching volleyball! LOL! I also have a full time career managing a Global Customer Care group. I love spending time with my family and enjoy quiet time on my patio overlooking the water.
Favorite subject in school: P.E. Class and Philosophy
Favorite Book or Last Book I Read: Most Recent: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach Favorite: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Favorite Movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding – hilarious!
Favorite Quote: “Judgement is the denial of oneness” – a meme I came across
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Sarah Thomas, first female NFL Referee I would love to hear her story!
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: Ask me about my childhood in the Black Hills of South Dakota!
ECP DC Division Coordinator
Coaching Experience: I have coached at the high school and club level for the past ?? years. Highlights include coaching the Arlington Elite14 team to a 9th overall finish at the Capitol Hill Classic in the Open division. My West Potomac High School freshman team finished 14-0 in its second season. I’m currently coaching the Varsity team, winners of the Gunston District Conference championship in 2017 and 2018! I’ve received certifications from USA Volleyball Impact, Gold Medal Squared and Art of Coaching.
Coaching Philosophy: Strive to reach academic and athletic excellence by creating an environment that is challenging, supportive, encouraging and collaborative: all to promote the love of the game and be the best we can be.
Best Volleyball Moment: Best volleyball moment was my senior year of high school at Horseheads, our varsity team beat Sweet Home, ending their winning streak of 294 straight games. At the time it was the longest winning streak in high school sports. It was so exciting and such a great memory that we still talk about today.
My Life in Sports: I grew up in a sports-focused community with great coaches that included my mom and dad. Played volleyball throughout high school winning the Sullivan Trail Conference 4 years in a row, NY State Regional Titles, First Team All STC all 4 years, Kiwanis Female Athlete of the Year. Silver and bronze medals in the Empire State Games. Continued on to play 4 years Division I at the University of South Carolina, Captain Senior Yr
When I’m not coaching volleyball… I love to spend free time hiking and playing fetch with my dog Lovie the Labradoodle
Favorite Subject in School: Recess!
Last Book I Read:The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Favorite Movie: Love the movies, see a lot of them and have many favorites
Favorite Quote: “To excel at the highest level- or any level really- you have to believe in yourself” – Stephen Curry
Person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: James Corden, after carpool karaoke
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: Love to travel, one of my favorite adventures was bungee jumping off a bridge in New Zealand
Mahrya O’Connor Delaney
ECP DC Division Coordinator
Mahrya O’Connor Delaney: 14 Peake
Coaching Philosophy: Teach them to love the game. I believe that if you bring quality feedback that allows the athlete to experience improvement, they will always be hungry for more. The best teacher of the game is the ball and quality repetitions. I instill passion and drive into my athletes to be their absolute best for both themselves and their teammates.
Best Volleyball Moment: 4A MD State Champions and being named MVP
My Life in Sports: Grew up playing volleyball and setting for MVSA from the age of 12. Went onto college at Ohio University and graduated with a degree in Sociology and Business. After college, I volunteered for a local club as an assistant and officially got the coaching bug. 10 years later I left corporate America as a Real Estate Title Insurance Controller to run my own club, MOJO Volleyball full time. MOJO Volleyball has one of the most prominent youth development programs in the DMV. Most of the collegiate athletes in the McLean area got their start with MOJO youth programming. This past year I was approached by ECP leadership, Brian McCann to partner up and bring the knowledge and programming I developed at MOJO to ECP. I’m excited to be on board!
When I’m not coaching volleyball: I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughters, and puppies. I love to go hiking, cook, drink wine, and go out to dinner. I’m also a Real Housewives and trash TV lover, much to my husband’s chagrin.
Favorite subject in school: Business, accounting, and math
Last Book I Read: A woman of independent means
Favorite Movie: Bad Boys II or Dirty Dancing
Favorite Quote: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
The person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Dolly Parton or Lady Gaga
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: I love to country line dance and couples dance, my mom is a fiddler and I spent a lot of time at the Cancun Cantina 🙂
ECP DC Division Coordinator
Team: 12 Eagle and 12 Raven
Coaching Philosophy: I want my players to work hard and learn more each practice and tournament.
Best Volleyball Moment: Met Mahrya.
My Life in Sports: I was a D1 swimmer but fell in love with coaching specifically volleyball.
When I’m not coaching volleyball: Golf, ice hockey, watch sports with my daughters.
Favorite subject in school: History
Last Book I Read: I read books about Star Wars, James Bond, and coaching philosophy.
Favorite Movie: Meatballs
Favorite Quote: “I drank what?” – Socrates
The person I’d Like to Have Dinner With: Arnold Palmer
Something You Probably Don’t Know About Me: At one point in my life…. I had hair!