Conser comes back to coach United girls

HANOVERTON – Don Conser couldn’t stay away.

The longtime Salem volleyball coach who resigned after 34 seasons and 638 wins in 2011 is making a comeback as the head volleyball coach at United Local.

The United Local Board of Education approved the hiring of Conser at its meeting on Wednesday morning.

Conser, 71, had thought about coming back after watching several Salem matches last season. He discussed returning to coaching with his wife on the condition that a position opened at Salem or United.

“I’d watch from the stands and realize I couldn’t do anything about it,” Conser said. “I missed it.”

Conser, who lives in the United district, was granted that opportunity when Troy Brunner stepped aside as the Eagles coach after the season.

“It will be a challenge,” Conser said. “I really don’t know the girls that well, but I do know a lot of people in the United community.”

Conser did own the Ohio High School Athletic Association record for coaching wins in a career from 2011 until this past season when Wellsville coach Dan McKinstry surpassed him.

He said he was surprised the record took as long as it did to fall.

“We have many coaches in Ohio with more than 600 wins,” Conser said. “I was actually surprised it stood for as long as it did.”

McKinstry has 640 wins, so there might be a possibility that this record changes hands a few more times before both coaches call it a career.

“I’m not sure I want it again to tell you the truth,” Conser said. “I didn’t come back for that reason, but it would be nice if it would happen again.”

Conser, who won 26-straight league titles at Salem, said he wants to make this a more than one year comeback, but he admits that it will be ultimately be up to the school board.

“I would really like to do more,” Conser said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes.”