Serra Names New Head Varsity Volleyball Coach
Former Stanford volleyball player Dennis Falls has been named Junípero Serra’s Head Volleyball Coach. Falls brings with him more than eight years of professional volleyball coaching and a lifetime of volleyball game experience as a member of USA Volleyball’s USA Junior National Team and 2009 Youth National Team, pipeline programs for the development of the US National Team.
Falls is thrilled to join Serra High School, a school he said is known for its pursuit of maximum potential.
“I am familiar with the culture of the athletics program at Serra and how each team works in a way where it’s always in an effort to to go to the fullest and have passion and ignition for each sport,” Falls said.
A longtime youth volleyball player, Falls grew up in the Chicago area. It was in middle school where he ignited his passion for volleyball, which eventually led him to a high school career at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox. There, Falls played in school, as well in the competition level USA volleyball program, where his club team was ranked No. 1 in the country. This placement quickly garnered the attention of Falls’ coach at Stanford.
He remembered that meeting fondly.
“I remember that he introduced himself to me and after saying, ‘Nice to meet you,’ he immediately asked, ‘how are your grades?”
Being a good student and a good athlete took Falls clear across the country to Stanford, where he played in Division 1 volleyball as a middle blocker. Falls believes his experience as a varsity scholarship collegiate athlete will help him in mentoring and preparing Serra’s volleyball athletes for the rigors of collegiate athletics. He said that it was an average of 30-plus hours per week of practice, weights, travel and competition with a robust academic and extracurricular schedule.
“I know the path and process and I think while I can help Serra students with calendar dates and skill development, I can also help with setting the goals to play in the next level,” he said.
Falls graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in Management Science and Engineering. He briefly joined a startup in San Francisco where he worked in marketing, coaching and recruiting. He started as an entry level employee and quickly rose the ranks to being a direct report to the CEO. But while working to coach tech execs in digital marketing and business development, Falls soon realized his success in coaching and chose to take those same motivating concepts and apply them to the sport he loved so dearly.
“I found that all of the tech coaching would be very relatable and meaningful to young people and high schoolers. I made the decision to become a full time coach by piecing together the different teams in different communities,” he said.
Falls has been the program director and head coach of Academy Volleyball Club in Palo Alto since 2015. He is also the head varsity girls volleyball coach at Menlo-Atherton High School. He also continues to play himself, in leagues around the area and professional teams across the United States.
According to Serra Athletics Director Justin Ferdinand, bringing Falls to Serra is another huge win for its already successful athletics program.
“Coach Falls brings a tremendous amount of playing and coaching experience to our Serra program. His excitement and dedication to the sport of volleyball will allow the program to continue to flourish and compete at the highest level,” he said.
Serra Principal Charlie McGrath concurred, stating, “Coach Falls brings a fresh perspective to the program and his vast network and professional credentials makes him the perfect candidate for the program. His focus on academic excellence and character formation align to Serra's mission to develop outstanding young men.”
Please join us in welcoming Coach Falls to the program.