Socorro volleyball has a home-grown coach in Jaden Jones, a former three-sport athlete for the Lady Warriors.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

Socorro’s new head volleyball coach Jaden Jones hit the ground running on May 31 and hasn’t slowed down as she prepares the Lady Warriors for the 2023 season.

“I have been reaching out to the assistants and getting their insights,” Jones said. “We’re going to have open gym three days a week.”

There had been a gentle push on Jones to apply for the job after she took over the Socorro varsity program late last season, having served as an assistant. Despite the short stint that saw the passion of the Lady Warriors rise, Jones was hesitant to take over the lead role.

“I was hoping to serve as an assistant a little longer and maybe under different head coaches before I took on being a head coach,” Jones said. “I thought, well, I’ll apply. If somebody better applies and gets a job, that’s what is probably better for me. I can coach under them and get more experience. If not well, then it’s me, and hopefully, I can do my best for the girls.”

As a former all-district player and multisport athlete, Jones has enjoyed four years of success in volleyball, basketball, and track and field, and she has also seen some of the Lady Warriors’ positive attitudes slip away. Gaining confidence and focusing her athletes on being positive are top priorities.

“I want our program to get back on its feet. It doesn’t necessarily mean winning games, but I want us to be on the same page. We are looking to establish structure, discipline and routine,” Jones said.

It’s more than just getting Socorro volleyball back on its feet because Jones is also looking at the big picture.

“I definitely want us to turn it around. I want us to be a district championship team again. I want us to be contenders in the state tournament.” Jones said. “I know we have a lot of potential. We have a lot of talent. I think it’s just getting the reps and putting the work in. It’s about making sure that they know that there’s a routine and discipline to follow. The girls must know they need come in and work hard daily.”

To advance her plans, Jones has scheduled an open gym at the high school for her athletes (8th-12th) so they can get those much-needed reps. The Lady Warriors have a strong nucleus of returning players, which the first-year coach can build on.

“One of our biggest problems was being unable to keep the morale up during the games. I hope putting in work this summer gets that stuff ironed out right away. I want my seniors to know that’s what I expect from them. I want them to encourage younger players. I want them to be leaders and know that they can make decisions and take charge if they feel the need to. Most of all, I need them to keep their temperament and not get so down whenever game situations are not good,” Jones said.

Socorro athletic director Jarrod Storey was pleased to see Jones decide to apply for the head coaching position.

“I am excited to see Jaden take over the program. She is a local who had great success as a Warrior athlete, and her relationship with the team from last year was very strong. She finished last season as the interim head coach, and the team responded well to her in that last week, so I am excited to see what she can do with a full summer implementing her ideas and methods into her program,” Storey said.

The Lady Warriors’ open gym nights are set for an M-W-F schedule from 5-6 p.m.