Coach Stephanie is the head coach of EXCEL 16N Red. She is a Dallas native and alum of Highland Park High School. Stephanie was a multi-sport athlete competing in basketball, softball, and of course volleyball. A three-time All-District setter, she captained all three sports her senior year.
Poole earned an athletic scholarship and competed at Wingate University in North Carolina as a multi-sport athlete (volleyball and softball). She was a three-time All-Conference player in addition to being the 2001 SAC Conference Player of the Year. Poole also earned placement on the Daktronics NCAA Div.II All-South Region 1st Team as well as recognition from Verizon Academic All-District III.
Returning home in the fall of 2002, Stephanie completed her degree at SMU before beginning her high school coaching career at Bishop Lynch. While there, BL won its first State Volleyball Championship. Next, Stephanie earned her teaching certification and went to work teaching and coaching at Waxahachie High School (2008-2011) and Highland Park High School (2011-2018). In 2018, Poole got a call from the head coach at Waxahachie High School, a longtime mentor and friend, Sandy Faussett, who urged Poole to return to Waxahachie and fulfill the role of varsity assistant. She is now the Varsity Head Coach at Allen High School.
Stephanie has been coaching club for many years, including stints at both Victory Volleyball Club as well as Madfrog. Stephanie has qualified many teams at multiple levels and has medaled at Nationals in USA in addition to owning an American division National Championship.
Stephanie joined Excel in 2018 as was first assigned to assist Sean Smith and 18 Red. That team earned an Open at-large bid and finished 21st out of 48 teams. For the 2019-2020 season, Poole was slated as head coach for 17 Red. She put together a team that no doubt was top three in the region and would have qualified in Open. However, that season was cut short by Covid-19. Poole remained head coach for 17 Red for the 2020-2021 season, and her team most recently medaled and qualified for Open nationals while in Reno for the Far Western Qualifier. With another qualifier in Las Vegas, Triple Crown, and Nationals still on their schedule, Excel 17 Red is looking to add even more hardware this season.
Coach Stephanie coaches with passion, intensity, and with a standard of doing things correctly. A strong work ethic, self-discipline, accountability, focus, and a team-first mentality are the cornerstones of success for her teams. In addition to building that team culture and environment, Coach Stephanie prides herself on being a coach who can relate to and earn the trust of her players. “I try to get to know each player individually – their personalities, what motivates them, what drives them; I try to get an understanding of what they want to accomplish. We do what we can to help them build the confidence, the technical capabilities, and the volleyball IQ they need to be successful. I hold my teams and my players to a high standard because they’ve chosen to participate in something that requires more – more time, more passion, more energy, more drive, more vulnerability, more growth. It’s not easy to get players out of their comfort zone. It’s not easy to convince them that it’s through the struggle and the grind that we see growth. But that’s what I absolutely love about coaching. I love the journey. I love the experiences. I love seeing a team turn a corner and take off.”