Bechard to Speak at KSHSAA Coaching School

LAWRENCE, Kan. – When Kansas volleyball coach Ray Bechard presents at the 81st Annual Kansas State High School Athletics Association Coaching School on Wednesday, it won’t be the first time for the veteran coach, but it will be his first as the reigning Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.
Bechard, who enters his 16th year at Kansas this season and 29th year overall at the collegiate level, remembers previous invitations from KSHSAA to speak at the premier clinic. With his entire coaching career taking place in his home state of Kansas, Bechard even remembers when he was attending rather than speaking.
“It’s a really good event,” Bechard said. “I remember going as a high school coach and it was really beneficial to me. I can kind of relate to all of them, because I’ve been at many different levels – a junior high coach, a high school coach and now a college coach. I know there are going to be some coaches there who will be coaching for the first time this fall who will probably have a little apprehension – like I did – I went to that before I even started my first coaching job.”
Running from Aug. 7-9 in Topeka, Kan., the KSHSAA Coaching School is an annual three-day event where the KSHSAA brings in high school and college clinicians and presenters to give workshops on football, volleyball, cross country, tennis, golf, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, sports medicine and sports nutrition issues to the coaches of Kansas. According to the KSHSAA website, in recent years more than 1,500 coaches have registered for the school.
Each sport will have a list of presenters on hand for every day of the event, with Bechard scheduled to speak on Wednesday, Aug. 7. He has presented a handful of times while at the helm of the KU program and also was invited to speak throughout his 13 years at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kan. This year, Bechard will join KU women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson and KU men’s golf coach Jamie Bermel as fellow Jayhawk coaches invited to teach sessions during the week.
Bechard is slated to cover high-pressure drills and live-match situations in his first session. He will breakdown and explain the drills he runs at Kansas in his second session, including identifying goal-setting expectations for differing levels of competition.
“You have to also be mindful of your audience (whether they are first-time junior high coaches or veteran high school coaches),” Bechard explained. “Sometimes you want to get into everything that creates opportunity for your program to get better, which a lot of those core values are the same, but you also need to build some room into your presentation for beginning, intermediate and advanced stages of coaching. To be relatable to everyone, that is the goal.”
The KU coach gets right back to work after his short stint in Topeka, as the Jayhawks report to campus on Aug. 9 and officially begin preseason camp on Aug. 10.  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.