Mitchell Kallick hired as Girls Volleyball Program Head

Nathan Wang

Mitchell Kallick joined the school as Girls’ Volleyball Program Head on Feb. 22 following former Girls’ Volleyball Program Head Natalie Morgan’s resignation. 

Kallick attended New York University (NYU) and was a collegiate Boys’ Volleyball middle hitter. He was inducted into the NYU Hall-of-Fame as the all-time kills leader in 2019.

Kallick also brings experience from coaching collegiate-level teams. He was the volleyball volunteer assistant coach at the University of Tennessee, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cal State Fullerton and the University of Maryland, assistant volleyball coach at Central Michigan University and head volleyball coach at the University of Hartford. Kallick also currently serves as the director of recruiting and technical director at City Volleyball club, where he coaches their elite club teams and oversees talent evaluation.

Girls’ volleyball sports administrator Matt LaCour said this transition will hopefully provide the girls volleyball program with long-term stability.  

“I think we probably look at our girls’ volleyball program as something that is more a long-term project not a flash-in-the-pan instant success type of model,” LaCour said. “We want [Kallick] to come in here and build it from the ground up with the players we currently have at our school and hopefully help those girls reach their potential.”

LaCour said Mitch’s extensive background in playing and coaching volleyball made him stand out as a potential coach.

“Mitch has kind of earned a reputation in the volleyball world as somebody who is not only strong tactically with game management and skill progression but also with the understanding of how the world of high school volleyball and club volleyball co-exist,” LaCour said. “The other thing that makes Mitch stand out is his connection to the collegiate volleyball world that he has experience coaching in and also has earned a pretty well-respected reputation as somebody who is a great advocate for kids who continue to play volleyball at the collegiate level.”

Kallick said he is excited about the upcoming season with the team and this new experience.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to join Harvard-Westlake and lead the Girls’ Volleyball program,” Kallick said. “Harvard-Westlake is a special place with a well-earned reputation for academic and athletic excellence. I am honored to accept the opportunity to continue this tradition and take the volleyball program to the next level.”

Kallick said his main goal is to get familiar with the team and the high school competition pool.

“[My goal is to] just really try to get the lay of the land right now,” Kallick said. “I think goals are best set as a team and as a unit, not just from me dictating it. My first goals right now are to get to get really familiar with the players on the team see what we have coming in both from returning players, people who are coming up from JV to varsity.”

Kallick said his coaching philosophy is based on values he has observed through his years of coaching. 

“I believe in communication, trust, respect, work ethic, and competitiveness, all kind of tied into one big thing,” Kallick said. “I talk fast, think fast, move fast and I adapt that to volleyball. I cherish competitiveness and aggressiveness above all else.”

Kallick said the most rewarding part about coaching is not only when he sees his players begin to develop and improve but also being able to have a lasting impact.

“It’s when you see that light bulb go on,” Kallick said. “It’s when you start seeing a player put it together whether it be something that there’s that they’ve been working on for years or something they just started trying to do in a week. One of the big things too is also that my mentor was my high school coach and she had she’s been the biggest influence on my life. So having that lasting impact is something else that she was like ‘that’s really good stuff.’”

Head of Athletics Terry Barnum said the girls’ volleyball program is ready for a new and seasoned coach.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Kallick to Harvard-Westlake to lead our girls’ volleyball program,” Barnum said. “He is well connected in the LA club volleyball world and has a passion for the game and player development that is contagious, and I can’t wait for him to start working with our athletes.”

Girls’ varsity volleyball player Kelsey Kim ’24 said even though Morgan’s resignation was difficult, she and the team are eager to welcome Kallick. 

“It’s definitely going to be a quick turnaround, which may be difficult at first, but we all understand that it’s part of the process,” Kim said. “Being a high-level team, we know that coaches come and go, and while we’re sad to see Coach Natalie leave, we’re also super excited to see what Coach Mitch can bring to our program.”

Kim said she believes Kallick has the expertise and experience to successfully head the girls’ volleyball program. 

“I think our team is really looking for a coach who can rebuild the program and create a strong culture, which is something I think Coach Mitch really emphasizes,” Kim said. “Based on my first impressions of Coach Mitch, I’d say he’s definitely what we’re looking for, and we’re happy to have him at Harvard-Westlake. He knows exactly what approach works with different kinds of teams, which makes him ideally suited to rebuild our program.”