Stephanie Poole
Head Volleyball Coach

Allen High School

Tell us about how you got into coaching.

Growing up, I had always wanted to be a coach. The people who had the greatest and most positive influence on my life were my coaches. I wanted to have that kind of impact on young people, and as I started working summer camps and coaching club ball, I fell in love with it.  In 2008, I started working towards my teaching certification, and I had an opportunity to long-term sub and coach at Waxahachie HS, where my former high school volleyball coach, Sandy Faussett was.


Who has been your mentor or advocate, and why?

I’ve been blessed and fortunate to have some great mentors/supporters/advocates.  First, Sandy Faussett, who is currently at Waxahachie.  Coach Faussett was my high school coach at Highland Park.  She supported me in playing multiple sports.  She ran a program that was successful and fun and rewarding – everything centered around a team-first mentality…how can I make my teammates better?  What does 100% effort look like?  What does good, positive leadership look like?  I didn’t realize it in the moment, but my experience playing for Sandy would lead me to coaching, and I once again had the opportunity to experience being part of an amazing program – this time on the coaching side at Waxahachie (2008-2011 and 2018-2021).

I also learned a lot from Michael Dearman at Highland Park – I was his assistant for seven years (2011-2018).

Other coaches who I admire and try to learn from and who helped me get to where I am now in my HS coaching career are Erin Kaufman and Ryan Mitchell.


Walk us through your coaching career; when did you start and where? Any additional details you want to share here are great!

2001-2004 Bishop Lynch

2008-2011 Waxahachie HS

2011-2018 Highland Park

2018-2021 Waxahachie HS

2021-present Allen HS

I have loved every place I’ve been! I’ve learned from each place I’ve been. I’ve made wonderful memories and friendships with colleagues, players, parents, coaches, teachers, admins, and community members.  I’ve been part of successful programs.

Relationships and experiences…to me, that’s what it’s all about.  To see the culmination of all the hard work and hours spent preparing – to share in the experience and feeling of amazing accomplishments…High School sports can connect so many people and provide a long-lasting link to incredible memories.


What has been your biggest challenge to date?

When I accepted the head coaching position at Allen, it was June 9th, which gave me about a month and a half to prepare for season.  I had about a week to prepare for camp.  It was overwhelming, but I also had amazing support from the athletic department, Allen administration, my coaches, the booster club officers.  I leaned on my experience from Waxahachie and Highland Park – I knew I had coaches and friends who I could call.  It was challenging because of the time crunch, but also awesome to feel how much support I had behind me.


What is your overall coaching philosophy, or what is important for your athletes to learn from you?

My coaching philosophy revolves around building a team culture based on support and positivity – from there, we’re able to lay out the goals, expectations, and pathways to team success.  Along the way, we help instill the values, the work ethic, the motivation, and the communication that it takes in order for us to be successful.  I believe in helping our athletes discover and develop the best version of themselves – as athletes, as volleyball players, and as people.  Ultimately, my hope is that what our athletes experience while in our program will teach them lessons and life skills that they can take with them and confidently navigate the next chapters and phases of their life.  Sports is a microcosm of life – I like knowing that we’re helping those who come through our program gain the confidence, fortitude, perseverance, and grit that it takes to handle adversity, challenges, and the pursuit of dreams.


What has been a highlight of your career so far?

Last season, we had some big tournament and district wins…seeing my players believe in themselves in those matches and play together and play for each other – that was the highlight.


Share your favorite quote.

“You don’t inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing you are. You inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.”

— Robyn Benincasa


What’s something you hope to achieve in the next couple of years?

In the next couple of years, I’d like to see us win a district championship.


What is your favorite Sports Imports product?

Carbon poles/net system, and the vertical tester and setting targets.