Liberty volleyball will debut under Randy Dolson

In 10 years at Hempstead and West, he has taken 9 teams to state

Randy Dolson directs his players during volleyball practice at Iowa City West last August. He was named the head coach at Iowa City Liberty on Monday. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Randy Dolson directs his players during volleyball practice at Iowa City West last August. He was named the head coach at Iowa City Liberty on Monday. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

NORTH LIBERTY — In his interview with principal Scott Kibby, Randy Dolson called himself “a builder.”

This time, he’ll be building from the ground up.

Dolson has been hired as the first head varsity volleyball coach at Iowa City Liberty, Kibby confirmed Monday afternoon.

“I’m super excited to have Randy come over (from Iowa City West),” Kibby said. “He will be an asset to our special-education department, and I’m excited for him to lead our volleyball program.”

A former coach at the University of Dubuque and Drake University, Dolson has been in the high-school ranks for the past 10 years, taking nine teams to state and compiling a record of 280-101.

He coached at Dubuque Hempstead for seven seasons, then spent the last three years at West, where he was 78-39 with three state appearances.

The Women of Troy were 23-15 last fall.

“There were a lot of reasons, good reasons, to go to Liberty,” Dolson said. “As a coach, you don’t get a chance very often to be on the ground floor and build a foundation from there.

“It’s only a mile from my home, and the facilities are super. Being in a smaller town, I think this school will have a community-baseed feel.”

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This will be a significant challenge, at least to start. The Lightning will be freshman- and sophomore-oriented next fall as the program begins to take shape.

“We’ll take our lumps for a little while,” Dolson said. “But it will be a good opportunity for the young kids to get their feet wet.”

Liberty will compete as an independent and probably will be classified as a Class 4A program — next fall, then will join the Mississippi Valley Conference in time for the 2018 season.

Dolson is the second varsity hire at Liberty. Jeff Kelley will be the first softball coach.

Kibby expects to hire an athletics director later in the week.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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