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Dearmitt joins SCC staff as girls’ volleyball coach

Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / July 1, 1998

LAPLACE – Michelle Dearmitt knew she wanted to follow a career in athletics since she was a little girl.

“I started playing track when I was 6 years old,” Dearmitt said. “I enjoyedplaying and liked being outside so I knew I wanted to coach. I also likehaving the summers off,” she added, smiling.

Dearmitt was recently hired to replace Anne Marie Burgard as head volleyball coach at St. Charles Catholic High School. Burgard is leaving tojoin her husband, Paul, who was named Christian Life’s head football coach in late May.

Burgard, one of the most successful coaches in SCC history, led the Lady Comets to six state tournament appearances and three district titles while at the high school. In 1997, SCC went 30-9, won the 6-IV districtchampionship and reached the state semi-finals for the second time in three years.

Principal Drew Cupit feels confident that Dearmitt will have no problem keeping up with Burgard’s success. “We are excited about Michelle comingaboard,” he said. “We feel very fortunate to find a coach of her caliber. Weknow that she will continue the tradition of success that has been established.”Dearmitt, 31, from Metairie, graduated in 1992 with a degree in sports fitness management exercise science from the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Miss. While in college, Dearmitt played volleyball forfour years, basketball for one year and softball for one year. When shegraduated she stayed at the university for another two years as assistant basketball coach.

Leaving MUW, she went to Vanderbilt Catholic in Houma where she served as a junior high volleyball and basketball coach.

Most recently, Dearmitt has been the head volleyball coach at St. LouisCatholic in Lake Charles for the past three years. During her tenure, theSaints went to the state tournament all three years and won district titles in 1996 and 1997.

But she is excited to be at St. Charles as head volleyball coach, assistantsoftball coach and physical science teacher. “It’s always fun to start witha new group of girls,” she said. “You don’t know them and they don’t knowyou. But it’s great and important to develop a bond with them.”Dearmitt met her team Monday morning for the first time and she said everything went well. “After a few minutes they realized I wasn’t theanimal they thought I was going to be, running them to death and killing them on the court,” she said.

Her plans for the team are broad.

“I haven’t really scoped everything out yet,” she said. “First I want to getto know the girls and get to know the program. Then work towards successand get to be a well-rounded team incorporating all aspects of volleyball.”Burgard said it was a tough decision to leave SCC.

“It’s really hard to leave this program and the girls, but ultimately, my family comes first,” she said. “It has been tough being apart from Paul. Itwill take some time to adjust, but we’ll be together and that’s how we work best.”Cupit said Burgard will be missed.

“Anne Marie has been a true asset to our program and our school,” Cupit said. “She has raised the level of expectation for our volleyball program.We are saddened by her leaving, but we understand her commitment to her family. We wish her the best.”

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