This fall will begin a new era in Polytech volleyball, as former Smyrna High and Delaware Technical Community College volleyball standout Candice Brady takes over as the program’s first new head coach since 2010.

Brady takes over the job backed by a strong resume, having played four years at Smyrna High before a successful collegiate career with DTCC Terry Campus, where she was a part of back-to-back Region XIV championship teams.

Since graduating college, Brady has held a few coaching positions, most recently as an assistant with Premier Volleyball of Delaware.

Brady joins a Polytech program used to success. Under former head coach Trevor Bradshaw, the Lady Panthers made the DIAA Volleyball State Tournament seven seasons in a row, a streak that was snapped in 2017 when the team went 6-9.

Brady has already met with her team in preparation for the upcoming school year, trying to build a rapport with them as the opening of preseason is just around the corner.

“My job is to do everything I can to help those I coach to improve, mature and succeed, no more, no less,” Brady said. “Smyrna High School runs a summer league for high schools that want to participate, so I took that time to see how the girls play together and get to know them.”

Understanding it’s her first year on the job, Brady’s goals are simple and straightforward, not only for herself but for the team as well.

“Progress begins with recognizing the needs, putting the most important things at the top of the list and working on them first,” Brady said. “Yes, as a first-time coach it would be awesome to make the playoffs, but progress requires being focused on your priorities and not allowing other things to distract.”

Polytech has potentially 10 returnees from last year’s squad and that’s not counting those that could possibly make the jump from junior varsity. Brady’s job is to put the very best team on the court come the fall.

“All the girls know each other, but this is the first year some of them are getting to play together,” Brady said. “I have a few girls moving up from JV to varsity. It’s kind of a feeling out process for all of us right now, but things are coming together well.”

Polytech will open their scrimmage schedule at Smyrna High for a scrimmage play-day on Saturday, August 18, the first of two scrimmage play-days before the regular season.

The Lady Panthers will open their regular season on Friday, September 7 when they host Appoquinimink.