The Great Plains Region Board of Directors is excited to announce another addition: Shannon Walker of Omaha Starlings!
Great Plains Region Executive Director/Commissioner, Craig Wiedel, stated, “My vision for the future of the Region is “to grow the game of volleyball for all individuals and programs across the Region” and adding Shannon to the Board is another example of progress being made in accomplishing this vision.” Walker’s knowledge and expertise in developing volleyball in the Omaha area will be a great asset to the board.
Starlings Volleyball, USA began with a single, inner-city volleyball team of 11 girls in 1996. Founder Byron Shewman, a Men's National Team Champion and Olympian Kim Oden, sought to establish a volleyball/academic program that would serve girls from lower socioeconomic groups. Far more than a youth program, Starlings is a home-base for struggling girls to find empowerment, direction and love within a setting of quality volleyball training and competition.
Today, Starlings is the nation's largest junior volleyball club with teams in more than 50 cities and Native American reservations throughout the U.S. Approximately 3,000 girls currently participate in the Starlings program annually.
The Omaha chapter of Starlings was created in 1998 by Butch and Sharon Saltzman. Shannon Walker began coaching for the Omaha Starlings in 2000, and took over as director in 2008. Her vision for the program was to increase both membership and competitiveness, enabling Starlings players to have more opportunities. Since then over 65 girls have gone on to receive volleyball scholarships and the Omaha program has won eight Starlings' National Championship titles.
Walker has also served as the head coach at Omaha Northwest High School since 2009. Prior to that she was an assistant at Omaha North High School for ten years. She is the proud former recipient of USA Volleyball's Robert L. Lindsay Meritorious Service Award and College of St. Mary's Coach of Character Award.