FARMINGTON— The Shiprock High volleyball program has its new leader.

Last week the school announced that Krista DeEries will lead the Lady Chieftains into the 2014 season as the team's new head coach.

"She's familiar with Shiprock and the area," Shiprock principle Rick Edwards said of DeEries, "and it's kind of a coming home story."

DeEries was born in Farmington and later moved to Carlsbad where she was a volleyball standout for the Carlsbad High Cavegirls. Upon graduating from Carlsbad in 2000 DeEries continued her volleyball career at Eastern New Mexico University where she studied community physical education.

DeEries first learned of the Shiprock opening when her brother, who works for the New Mexico Activities Association, passed the information to her.

"He knew I was looking to start coaching and that I wanted to move back to New Mexico, so he gave me the job announcement saying that Shiprock was looking for a new volleyball coach," DeEries said. "I looked into it and it sounded like a great opportunity so I applied."

DeEries' application, qualifications and enthusiasm caught Edwards' attention.

"She's young, enthusiastic and brings a real excitement," Edwards said of DeEries. "Even though she's young to the education process she has a lot of maturity through her military service."

After graduating from ENMU in 2005, DeEries served in the U.S. Coast Guard until 2010.

DeEries later went back to school after her military service to earn her degree in education and graduated from Concordia University-St. Paul in May.

In addition to heading the Lady Chieftains volleyball program DeEries will teach health and physical education at Shiprock High, where she hopes to build strong relationships and help her students succeed.

While DeEries is anxious to begin her teaching career she admits to being more excited by the prospect of coaching.

"I think I'm really going to love teaching but I'm much more excited about the coaching aspect of it," DeEries said.

When the Lady Chieftains season gets underway this fall DeEries has modest goals for her team.

"With coaching, (the goal) is just continual improvement," DeEries said. "The first year in, as long as I see we are progressing and getting better, I would consider that a win. I'm really just interested in making sure that we're all on the same page."

But as her team improves, DeEries expectations will grow.

"Long term, obviously I have my sights on getting to the state tournament and doing really well," DeEries said.

Karl Schneider covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648 and kschneider@daily-times.com. Follow him @karltschneider on Twitter.