The Olympia Bears (10-5, 7-2 4A SPSL) varsity volleyball team hosted and defeated rival Capital High School (5-10, 5-8 3A SSC) Saturday, October 30 at newly named “Creighton Court” in Olympia’s Chick Rocky Gymnasium.
The evening was a celebration of coach Laurie Creighton’s dedication, commitment and influence in the Olympia community. Olympia defeated Capital easily in three sets (25-9, 25-19, and 25-7) in a non-league match.
Olympia High School renamed the court in honor of Creighton in a post-game celebration that included hundreds of fans, former players and students. In a symbolic choice, Olympia chose to host Capital High School, who is coached by Katie Turcotte who assisted Creighton for nine years.
Turcotte was honored to play Creighton in her last regular season game and spoke during the post-game celebration. “She truly is the best of best and everyone who has ever been associated with Olympia volleyball knows what a genuine positive female role model she is,” Turcotte remarked after the celebration. “Laurie became my mentor, and more importantly my dear friend. She is one of a kind.’
Creighton addressed the audience after the game and praised the support of her husband Greg and many former players and individual’s that crafted her as a coach. “The chance to influence the young women who’ve been in the program over the years and help them in becoming the best version of themselves is one of my biggest accomplishments in my 45 years of coaching,” remarked Creighton.
Creighton began her coaching career at Washington Middle School in 1978 and then remained at Olympia for an astonishing 43 years.
“To help prepare individuals for life has been something I strived at because they will be people longer than volleyball players,” she continued. “My goal has always been not only to win games but to help my players be ready to be good leaders, good family members, good co-workers and good citizens.”
On the court Creighton resume includes 14 league championships, 7 district championships, 23 state qualified teams and 15 top eight in state finishes, which included 2 state champion titles (3A in 1998 and 4A in 2011). Creighton has 873 wins during her career, making her the second most winning coach in the WIAA. She has been inducted into the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Olympia High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
“I know it’s very unusual for coaches to be in one place for so long and for any coach to go out at a time of their choosing, so that’s a blessing,” Creighton said. “I think the years have flown by because it’s been a calling, not a job. I’ve always had a huge passion for it and although it takes a lot of energy, it never seemed like work.”