GW mourns death of volleyball coach

The GW community mourned the death of women’s volleyball coach Yvette Moorehead Friday in an emotional hour-long memorial service held at the Western Presbyterian Church.

Moorehead, 30, was found dead in her Arlington, Va. home August 9.

Arlington Police are investigating Moorehead’s death as a possible suicide, according to The Washington Post.

Thank you Yvette, for making my life and our lives a bit better, interim coach Jojit Coronel said during the service.

Remembering her former assistant as a fun-loving young woman with a shining smile, former GW volleyball head coach Susie Homan said, I hired an assistant coach and left with a great friend. We didn’t have a bad day together.

GW officials said the volleyball team was informed of the news in the Smith Center August 10, in the early morning following Moorehead’s death.

The team continued to hold two practices a day last week and members of the team have seen each other everyday outside of practice since Moorehead’s death.

The team had a dinner in junior Shannon Farley’s New Hall room the night they were told about Moorehead’s death.

Senior Associate Athletic Director Mary Jo Warner, who called Moorehead a treasure during the service, held a barbecue at her home for the team later that week.

We dedicate this season to Yvette, senior Renee Arnold said during the service.

Arnold, Homan, Coronel and seniors Jill Levey and Tracee Brown flew to Moorehead’s August 16 funeral in Detroit, the coach’s hometown.

Moorehead’s close family and friends attended the funeral including old team members and coaches from the University of Kentucky, where Moorehead was a four-year volleyball letter-winner from 1988-91.

In attendance at Friday’s service were volleyball coaches from Fordham, Massachusetts, Georgetown, the University of Maryland and William & Mary College.

It was good for closure, Levey said of the service.

Team members and friends spoke of the effect Moorhead had on the lives of those around her.

It just shows how many people she touched, senior Adrianna Gucciardi said.

I was shocked when I heard about Yvette’s death, Temple coach Bob Bertucci said from Philadelphia. She was doing a great job and when she stepped in for Susie (Homan) she didn’t miss a beat. She was an up and coming coach with tremendous potential.

The volleyball players had a team dinner at Old Glory in Georgetown after the memorial service and resumed a full-team two-hour practice Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. with Coronel as their interim coach.

An assistant coach has not been named.

Jo (Coronel’s) still pushing us at practice but being very understanding, senior Julie Jahnke said.

Jahnke and other team members talked of how Moorehead was usually the one to hold the camera and take snapshots of team functions. Coronel took pictures of the team Saturday.

You could tell something was missing (at the Georgetown dinner), Jahnke said. (Coronel’s) in a lot of pain but he’s being strong for us.

GW’s season begins next Friday at the Smith Center.

Moorehead was entering her third year at GW and her second as the volleyball head coach. Last season Moorehead led the Colonials to a 16-11 record and a trip to the four-team Atlantic 10 Tournament. She spent her first season as an assistant under Homan.

Before coming to GW, Moorehead was an assistant coach at Iowa State University in 1997 having begun her coaching career at Midway College as an assistant in 1993.

She spent three years as an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University. Moorehead led her Kentucky team to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship title in 1991.

My heart is aching, Homan said during the service. And it won’t seem to stop.

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