If you’re looking to build a little job security, it doesn’t hurt to be voted 2011 Coach of the Year by the Tri-Valley Athletic League in your first season on the job.

As head coach for the boys’ varsity volleyball program, Jason Donnelly coached the Cardinals to a respectable third-place finish in the TVL and earned a CIF playoff berth in the process. It is no surprise then that Donnelly has been asked to take over the girls’ varsity coaching position as well.

Donnelly returned to Santa Barbara after a three-year stint as the first assistant women’s volleyball coach at Rutgers University. His volleyball roots are well-established, having played Division 1 at the University of the Pacific and locally at San Marcos High School. He also built an impressive record of league titles and CIF success at Laguna Blanca School.

“After spending this past season as the boys’ coach and seeing from the inside what a great school Bishop Diego is, the opportunity to take over the girl’s program was one I couldn’t pass up,” Donnelly said. “I’m really looking forward to being there this fall and am excited about the future of Bishop volleyball.”

Donnelly will also assist Bishop Diego Athletic Director Dan Peeters with the day-to-day operations of the athletic department.

“He’s proven to be a great fit, and we’re pleased that he is taking on a larger role,” Peeters said.

Bishop Diego returns eight players and a great deal of experience from last year’s girl’s squad.

— Ashley Snider is the director of admissions and public relations at Bishop Garcia Diego High School.