Your source for CHS news


Your source for CHS news


Your source for CHS news


Q&A Head Coach of The Men’s Volleyball Team Andrew Fuller Talks About His Views

Anuj Gupta
Andrew Fuller talks to his team during a timeout on April 23. Fuller said he used to play at Carmel High School when he was younger.

What got you into coaching volleyball?

My aunt got me into coaching, well, into volleyball. When I was growing up, we’d play volleyball in the backyard all the time, my brother and I. So I got into volleyball at a pretty young age, around 10, which is younger than a lot of boys are getting into it now. Then, once I fell in love with it, I started playing at a higher level in the seventh grade. I actually came to Carmel and won two State Championships here in 2011 and 2012. The schools I wanted to go to, like IUPUI and other schools, didn’t have a men’s program, so it was really easy for me to get into coaching in high school.

What is your favorite part about coaching?

There are two different parts about it. You know, obviously, me still being involved in the sport, I love being around the game. It’s been fun to see how much the boys’ game has grown, and even when I was coaching girls it was awesome. The other part is, growing up, my coach, John Hartman, who retired in 2017, he was a big mentor to me. He was somebody that, even to this day I’ll still get dinner with him and the impact he made on my life was not something that you get from normal relationships with teenagers or parents; you look at coaches differently. You know it is the hoping to be able to be that type of person to athletes.

How long have you been coaching for?

I’ve been coaching for 12 years now. I’ve been a high school head coach since 2017 when I started at Guerin. Then right after that, I took over a girl’s program down in Shelbyville, Indiana. I was down there for about four years then moved back up here to the northside. I stayed at Guerin till last year, and then Carmel opened up that position. I’ve also been coaching club since 2012 and have had other high school jobs and assisted elsewhere. 

What is your coaching philosophy?

If we’re talking about systematics, we are really into our defense. We want to train hard in our defense, we work hard in defense; I do believe that in this game you have to be able to be effective defensively and create offense opportunities; you can’t just rely on being the best athlete in the gym every day. I also believe in a lot of aggressive moves. Right now our team is very error-prone, and I’m okay with it because we’re young. I want these kids that are young to be okay with making aggressive errors because they’re freshmen, sophomores, and by the time they’re juniors and seniors, they’re going to feel very differently about making these errors. You know we want these kids to feel comfortable and confident in being aggressive and going out to earn points.

What has been one of the main differences between Carmel and other places you have coached at?

If we’re talking about what Carmel has to offer, the resources that Athletics Director Jim Inskeep has been willing to give us are second to none. These guys are really buying into boys volleyball now; they’re giving us all the resources that we need that we feel like will help us be successful. I think the resources for athletes are limitless, but it’s got to get better. I think as we continue to work with other programs this is a student body of 5,000 and I only have 24 kids, in my opinion, that’s not great. We want to get this program back to a point where 30, 40 plus kids are on the team and I have to make decisions on who is going to be in the program. Right now the biggest challenge is student participation. We just have to get this sport, which is one of the largest growing sports in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) for boys, recognized. What has been the biggest challenge with coaching a new team? Right now the biggest challenge is student participation. 

What new things have you been trying to incorporate into the team this season?

To be frank, I am a pretty simple coach. I believe in very simple systems, like offensive systems. There are a lot of different play sets. Just like with any other sport, it has a lot of different plays that we can run. At the levels that I have coached previously, being ones in the top five in the country, we kept it very simple, not very complex. We haven’t done that. This team I have now has made me think way outside of the box. There have been things I’ve done with this group that have created us opportunities to win that I haven’t had to do before, so I am going to take that with me. So we as a staff have really had to think outside of the box to accomplish some of the things we’ve been wanting. 

What are you going to miss most about this season?

The season is pretty far from being over; we’re just now hitting the halfway point. I will tell you this, I have never coached a group that has come into practice and worked as hard as these guys consistently. That could be a testament to these guys. Trust us, it’s not easy to trust when you’re playing a top-five seed in a state with 150 teams. For us to be as new as we are and still come into practice to work hard is a testament to the culture we are trying to create here. I’ve had some fun matches caching here, we have yet to walk into a match feeling like we are going to lose it. There have been matches that we have felt like we could have won, the fact that these guys come into practice every day and work really hard, even with the win-lose that we have is a testament to what we’re trying to do here. 

What has this season taught you?

It is hard to win. It is really really hard to win. It is really hard to win in high school, which I already kind of knew. This has been a huge reminder about how hard it is to win, because we have been close in these matches, and I believe if we continue to put in the hard work, we will be able to improve Carmel men’s volleyball. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Shout out to the media staff and everything that has come out here and have made working with this program really special. I think it’s great that people are here reaching out, bringing light to the sport. I think this is an unbelievable sport that deserves all the attention it can get. 


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