Written by Badger Region with support from North Country Region
Colleen Houk embodies everything that is great about the junior volleyball community.
At the start of her volleyball career, Houk played a pivotal part in bringing the Milwaukee Sting Volleyball Club to the high level that it holds today, both in the Badger Region and on the national stage. There, she was a coach, administrator, volunteer and much more for one of the Badger Region’s biggest and most well-established clubs.
When the Badger Region began to grown from a one-person operation to one with a permanent office and staff of five, Colleen was there to help it through the many growing pains. Houk served the Badger Region as Operations Manager from 2011 to 2015, all while still coaching and helping out with behind the scenes work at Milwaukee Sting.
In her Badger Region days, Houk was tasked with helping the 10,000 members in the Badger Region navigate through Webpoint and complete all of the requirements necessary to participate, and she did most of it with a smile! She was always kind and patient on the phone with a parent, grandparent or club director when she explained something for the 43rd time (that day) and helped streamline many processes within the region to make the lives of club directors easier. She worked closely with tournament directors, club directors and other USA Volleyball personnel to help grow the game nationally, regionally and locally.
In 2016, she returned to Milwaukee Sting full time as club director as the organization moved forward with the leasing of its own facility. There she spent many long hours working events, cleaning tables, working concessions and greeting every athlete and parent who came through the door with a smile.
Then, in early 2018, Houk announced that she was stepping down as club director as she and her husband Pat planned a move to Bloomington, Minnesota, to be closer to their son and grandchildren.
Of course moving to Minnesota didn’t mean Colleen stopped working in the volleyball community, it meant she would be able to help out even MORE! With changes in administration in the North Country Region, Houk approached NCR administrators and offered to help the Region come online with a member management system, as opposed to using the paper membership forms that had been used there for many years.
Her knowledge and expertise in Webpoint gained in the Badger Region office has come in very handy for the North Country members making the transition.
In the meantime, Houk was hired to coach at M1, where she works with the youngest of athletes -- some of whom are even taller than her since Colleen stands at probably just under 5 feet tall. Colleen says her favorite part of the game is teaching blocking, though she doesn’t come near crossing the plane of the net when she stands or jumps.
Regardless of where she is or how tall she stands, Colleen has left a HUGE mark on the volleyball world with her endless desire to help others around her find volleyball – and stay organized in the process.
For all of her long hours and many thankless jobs she has done in the Badger Region and in the North Country Region, Colleen is deserving of any and all accolades that could come her way from the Junior Assembly of USA Volleyball. Go Colleen!