By David Pan Enterprise sports editor
Former Edmonds-Woodway volleyball coach Mike Pittis really wasn’t interested when athletic director Julie Stroncek said the high school wanted to honor him at its first home volleyball match.
Pittis retired last January after 39 years of coaching in the Edmonds School District, including 20 years as Edmonds-Woodway’s one and only head volleyball coach.
Stroncek persisted and Pittis agreed to attend what he thought was going to be a brief ceremony on Sept. 9 before the match against Meadowdale.
It turned out be quite an evening of memories and an honor Pittis never expected.
The longtime Edmonds-Woodway coach is going to be the first inductee to the new Edmonds-Woodway Hall of Fame.
“That really blew me away,” said Pittis, who also coached basketball, baseball, track and field and softball in the district. “Obviously, I didn’t expect it. That means a lot. That place means a lot to me.”
The other highlight of the evening was the attendance of many of Pittis’ former players, some of whom he had not seen in decades. “It was amazing,” Pittis said. “It was really just spectacular. I couldn’t believe the number of former players that were there.”
Some of his players were products of Title IX, a law enacted in 1972 that banned sex discrimination in schools.
“A lot of the kids I haven’t seen since graduation,” Pittis said. “Some I see quite often.”
In fact, five of his former players are on the coaching staffs of Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale, including Warrior head coach Nicole Bordeaux and Maverick head coach Machen Shrum.
Pittis hasn’t faded into the background. Far from it. He currently is a volunteer assistant coach with Edmonds-Wooday and he’s also organizing the end of the year junior varsity championships. Earlier he helped put together a freshman tournament.
“I’m able to find some ways and still be involved in the game and in the program,” Pittis said. “I appreciate being able to do that.”
He also is spending a lot of time on the golf course and just relaxing.
As for his future plans, Pittis hopes to continue to make a difference in people’s lives.
He’s contemplating some type of volunteer work.
“I haven’t really settled on it,” Pittis said. “But it’s likely to be something to do with schools.”