By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The winningest volleyball coach in Waxahachie’s history and a top-10 all-time in Texas called it a career on Wednesday.
Waxahachie head volleyball coach Sandy Faussett-Stoops made the decision public following a family vacation to Hawaii and at the end of the fall semester. However, there will be no search to fill the vacancy, as varsity assistant Erika Weber was named the head coach of the Lady Indians — completing a career arch over 20 years in the making.
Faussett-Stoops made her way to Waxahachie in 2001. She led her Lady Indian sides to an overall mark of 710 wins to just 237 losses, 21 consecutive playoff appearances, 19 bi-district championships, 16 area championships, 12 regional quarterfinal appearances and one regional semifinal showing (2022).
“I am so thankful for the kids and coaches I have had the privilege of working with over the past 21 years,” Faussett-Stoops stated. “It has been a great ride, and I have so many fond memories that I will cherish forever. This program will continue to develop strong players and competitive teams under the leadership of coach Weber! No one is better suited to continue the winning tradition of Waxahachie volleyball.”
Faussett-Stoops added that she will remain active in the program and her administrative role through the spring semester. She also thanked WISD for “always believing in our vision and supporting the coaches and programs.”
This past season, the Lady Indians defeated Hewitt Midway to reach the 6A Region II semifinal for the first time in program history.
That win was the 40th of the season for the Lady Indians. They had last won 40 games in 2018 (44-5, third-round loss to Southlake Carroll). Waxahachie had also won 40+ matches in 2016 (43) and 2011 (42) — all under Faussett-Stoops.
This year’s group then fell in heartbreaking, five-set fashion to The Woodlands.
Waxahachie led 14-11 in the fifth set, ultimately dropping the set and match 17-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-18 and 14-16. The Woodlands went on to sweep Bridgeland to reach the state tournament, bowing out to eventual 6A state champion Dripping Springs (3-1) in the state semifinals.
Waxahachie had won 23 consecutive matches and climbed to No. 7 in the TGCA 6A state rankings before that regional tournament loss, which included a perfect 14-0 run through a tough District 11-6A and just 5 dropped sets over that 23-match span.
The program reached the playoffs in 21 consecutive seasons under Faussett-Stoops. A feat that spans three classifications (4A, 5A, 6A) and deserves applause.
Prior to cementing her legacy in Waxahachie, Faussett-Stoops served as the head volleyball coach in Greenville and Highland Park. Her 35 total years of varsity volleyball coaching experience resulted in 923 career victories — which ranks third in active coaches and in the top-10 all-time in Texas.
“We will miss coach Faussett-Stoops’ leadership as head volleyball coach and girls’ athletic coordinator,” stated WISD Athletic Director Greg Reed in a district press release. “We are so grateful for the 21 years she gave our district, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.”
Weber (formerly Knowles) is a 2006 graduate of Waxahachie High, where she starred at libero and helped lead the first Faussett-Stoops-coached team to the 4A postseason. Weber went on to play collegiately at Southern Nazarene University, eventually graduating with a bachelor’s in mathematics education.
She served as Waxahachie junior varsity and varsity assistant coach for the Lady Indians from 2010-2017 and then spent a year in Cuero.
Weber was named the head coach at perennial power Midlothian Heritage in 2019. She returned to Waxahachie this past spring as a varsity assistant after posting a 49-28 overall record, 23-1 district mark and three 4A playoff wins over two seasons at Heritage.
“Coach Weber brings strong varsity coaching experience, great leadership, and a wealth of knowledge to our volleyball program,” stated Reed in a district press release. “We are excited for our teams to continue their work and relationship-building with her, and know that we will see much-continued success from our volleyball teams at all levels.”
Barring some unforeseen crisis, it’s a near guarantee that the Waxahachie volleyball brain trust of Faussett-Stoops, Bobbie Knowles and Dana Scott will all be in attendance for the Lady Indians’ 2023 season opener. And, honestly, they’ll all three have a short list of critiques — which will ultimately bode well for the future of coach Weber and Waxahachie volleyball.
The culture and character of Lady Indian volleyball aren’t just in good hands — they’re in the best we could’ve wished for. KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM thanks coach Faussett-Stoops for all she has done for our athletes, community and coverage. She is a legend of the sport and we are confident coach Weber will follow suit. Onward!
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith