Carson High volleyball

Reflecting on a long career

Robert Maw looks in the rearview as Carson High volleyball opens up new season

Robert Maw looks on from the sideline while still serving as the Carson High head coach in 2017. This summer, Maw stepped down from the position and handed the reigns over to a former player.

Robert Maw looks on from the sideline while still serving as the Carson High head coach in 2017. This summer, Maw stepped down from the position and handed the reigns over to a former player.

 The fact that longtime Carson High School coach and instructor Robert Maw ended up in Carson City was a bit of luck.The state of Washington didn’t work because the school calendar clashed with his fishing business in the summer.So, Maw and his wife looked at a map, conveniently stumbled upon Carson City, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Maw grew up outside of Alberta, Canada, and played volleyball throughout high school, falling in love with the sport.
He first started at Carson High School in 2006 as the freshman volleyball coach and continued to wade into more responsibility as the years went on.
As he took over as the varsity, Maw also served for a decade as the Senators’ head track coach.
“I helped design and build this track facility here,” said Maw, “and, to be honest, I wasn’t home a whole lot.”
Coaches have a unique perspective on just how time-consuming programs can be, especially if you want to be successful.
“It’s a huge, huge time commitment,” said Maw. “I love the game so much.”

The fishing business
Maw has been a fisherman since he was 9.
It was an outdoor activity he learned to enjoy through his father, who he says is still an active fisherman, as he’s grown older.
Maw will spend two to three months in Alaska each summer with his fishing business that specializes in salmon catching and registering their DNA. It also provided a chance for his eventual replacement, Brittany Witter, to learn the ropes.
“The agreement we always had was I would take off to Alaska and do my business stuff and I had full confidence in her (Witter) ability to run the open gyms and still get the girls ready,” Maw said.
As his summer trips up north continued, his connections grew as well.
The business has grown and Maw has worked his way up to a 103-foot vessel called the Ocean Cat.
He and his crew will roam spots 20-30 miles out in Bristol Bay, catching and tracking the salmon that are coming in for fishing crews closer to shore.
With a lab on board his boat, Maw and company can use DNA tests to determine exactly which river a salmon spawned from.
He will go a month at a time without seeing land and says there are definitely days that can get intense, but it’s another joy of his livelihood he couldn’t live without.

Transitioning out
It hasn’t been easy for Maw to hand over the reigns.
His hesitation has nothing to do with a lack of trust or faith in his replacement, but rather finding a way to turn off his own competitive fire.
Maw sat at the scorer’s table for Tuesday’s home opener against Bishop Manogue and thought of a former colleague, who told him a tale of why he always ate lollipops.
Maw says it’s a habit he may have to start to keep himself from challenging officials’ calls, now that he is away from the bench.
“I haven’t made that disconnect yet,” Maw said. “I still want to say things.”
It won’t be a complete separation anytime soon with Maw still serving as the middle school head coach.
It’s a part of the program he has always held close to him.
“There can be a negative to kids’ always hearing the same coach,” said Maw. “However, I believe the positive outweighs it. … I’m still going to hang in there. I think it’s important for Carson to have Brittany and I both there. … I want to help her, but I also have to let the kids see her as the head coach.”
Seeing his players come back to the area is one of the things Maw will cherish most about his time as the head volleyball coach.
Not only does he have a former player in charge of the program he’s been building, Witter has assistants that also played under Maw at one point in time.
“I take some pride in that,” Maw said. “I’m extremely proud of her and it’s a huge commitment. It’s hard, especially with a young family.”
Sending 23 athletes to play collegiate volleyball will also always be a source of gratification for the Senator coach.
“That was always kind of a focus of mine once I became a head coach, even if its junior college,” said Maw. “It wasn’t just me, but it’s nice to see that they can go off and do that.”
Along with the chance to coach his own kids, Maw says the personal relationships he built along the way have been the sticking point all these years.
Maw says he still plans on helping out with track and field in the spring and hopes to still pop into volleyball practice when he can.
“I’m not gone from the program, but just trying to have a little more free time in the evenings,” said Maw. “At the end of the day, if you can have those positive experiences with kids and make it something good for them, then why not do it, right?”


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