Volleyball has been a fundamental part of Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith’s life ever since high school. Growing up playing in Zürich, Switzerland, Beckwith was called up to train with the Swiss National Volleyball Junior Team for a few seasons before he competed at Dartmouth College for four years. Since becoming the Head Coach of the girls and boys volleyball teams during the 1998-1999 school year, Beckwith has led the Boys Varsity Volleyball team to two Founding Four Tournament wins in 2007 and 2010, and a nail-bitingly close victory over Northfield Mount Hermon this Saturday.
He said of the game, “We just left NMH with an exciting win 3-2, 23-21 in the fifth [set]. I am so proud of the squad, and that was with only eight players of 13 available to play.”
Had NMH scored just three more points in the final set, they would have won the game.
While the volleyball team enjoyed a win on Saturday, day-to-day, one of Beckwith’s main focuses centers around creating a strong team bond.
“The team is like a young family: [it is] so much fun to hang out together, we wait to see each other when we are not together, and we laugh together,” said Coach Beckwith.
Rawit Assamongkol ’18 said, “Clyfe is inclusive of his players. He has over two decades of experience, and that shows in his coaching. His greatest strength, however, is his personality. Because he is so kind and genuine to the members of the team, we want to be the best players and students we can be.”
Another one of Coach Beckwith’s strengths is his commitment to involve new players into the team.
“Changes we have made are incorporating new players, having returning players take leadership roles,” said Beckwith.
Newcomer Erik Glover ’19, who met Coach Beckwith at the beginning of this season, said, “Coach Beckwith has always impressed me with both his positivity and willingness to teach beginn[er] players.” Glover added, “One of his strengths is his ability to quickly identity our faults in game, and how to deal with them.”
According to Coach Beckwith, the team is what keeps him motivated to keep coaching.
“The players bring such enthusiasm and energy. I feed off of that,” Coach Beckwith said.
Unlike other coaches on campus, Coach Beckwith does not actively seek recruits.
Assamongkol said that he highly respected Beckwith.
“I first met Clyfe my [Junior] fall. I had been to some volleyball games, so I knew who he was. I was lugging a large box of dorm apparel that I had just received. Clyfe was walking from Gelb [Science Center] to [George Washington Hall]. He offered to help me carry my box back to Gelb. He is compassionate. He has a can-do attitude. He cares about his students, his players, and his community at large. I have nothing but respect and love for Clyfe, and I don’t see that changing,” he said.
Beckwith will coach the team on Saturday in a home game against Choate.