Since joining Andover Girls Volleyball in 1998, Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith has led the team to three New England Prep School Girls Fall Volleyball Association (NEPGFVA) Championship titles and NEPGFVA playoffs for 16 consecutive years. Beckwith’s success has continued this season, as he stands at the helm of a 9-1 team that looks poised to make a playoff run.
Beckwith fell in love with volleyball when he played alongside his twin brother as a ninth grader at the American International School of Zürich in Zürich, Switzerland. While attending school, he was also invited to train with the Swiss Junior National Team. Though far shorter than most of his teammates, Beckwith’s agility and impressive vertical played a key role in his success as a volleyball player.
“[My brother and I] were asked to play for a regional team representing the Kanton (state) of Zürich,” wrote Beckwith in an email to The Phillipian. “Playing with my twin brother was fantastic – me, a setter, and he, a hitter – because we could finish each other’s sentences and could read each other’s minds setting up quick plays that the other team found hard to defend.”
Beckwith then attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH., where he played club volleyball and was able to reconnect with past teammates from Switzerland when Dartmouth played teams such as Yale and Tufts. After college, Beckwith served as a Teaching Fellow at the Andover Summer School for a year before leaving for graduate school at Boston College.
Upon completing graduate school, Beckwith returned to Andover and coached Boys Junior Varisty II Soccer, Alpine Skiing and Instructional Volleyball. In 1998, he was asked to be the Head Coach of Girls Varsity Volleyball and started the Boys Volleyball team the following spring.
“The rest is history,” said Beckwith.
Beckwith describes his coaching philosophy as fluid and constantly evolving. “[My current philosophy] is ‘Anticipate, Adjust, Execute.’ I enjoy inventing new drills, and the teams over the years have learned to let me know when they don’t really work. Everyone learns to adapt to new situations,” he said.
While employing this strategy to lead Andover to a 9-1 record this season, Beckwith has also been a great mentor off the court.
Sewon Park ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[Beckwith] really cares so much about all of us personally. He checks up on us outside of volleyball, takes us to dinners and concerns himself with our health and well being.”
Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16 added, “We have a saying, ‘Clyfe for Lyfe,’ because playing for [Beckwith] is actually a huge part of our Andover experience. When it comes down to it, we play for [him].”
Under the experienced guidance of Beckwith, Andover is well on its way to another successful playoff run in the 2015 season.
Editor’s note: Erica Shin ’16 and Sewon Park ’17 are a Managing Editor and Commentary Associate for The Phillipian, Vol. CXXXVIII, respectively.