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Published January 15 2011

Fargo North, Fargo Shanley left with vacant volleyball coaching positions

A pair of successful Eastern Dakota Conference high school volleyball coaches will not be back on the bench next season.

Fargo North’s Melissa Wilson resigned on Friday to focus on her positions as strength and conditioning coach and head girls track and field coach at Fargo Davies. Fargo Shanley coach Wendy Zeiher’s contract was not renewed after 11 seasons.

Zeiher said she was shocked by Shanley’s decision to not renew her contract.

“I was upset with the decision,” she said. “I didn’t think it was warranted.”

Zeiher led the Deacons to second place in both the EDC regular-season standings and the postseason tournament.

Shanley went 24-9 and finished seventh at state.

“We are going in a different direction,” said Shanley athletic director Randy Nelson. “There’s not much more I can say when it comes to personnel-decision making.”

Wilson, meanwhile, felt her new duties at Davies would prevent her from devoting her full attention as North’s volleyball coach.

“Trying to do all of the things I am assigned to do I would have fallen short somewhere,” Wilson said of her decision to leave North. “They deserve someone to be there 100 percent of the time, and to put the time I put in. I didn’t think I would be able to.”

The Spartans were 28-12 last season and finished fifth at the North Dakota Class A state tournament.

Wilson said she will not coach volleyball at Fargo Davies. She will be the Eagles’ strength and conditioning coach in the fall and winter, and the girls track and field coach in the spring.

“It’s by far one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my professional career,” said Wilson, a former track and field athlete at the University of North Dakota. “It’s been a decision I have been processing for over a month. It’s sad to walk away from this group of young ladies.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com