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East Lake names Mike Estes girls volleyball coach

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Fri. March 18, 2011 | Bob Putnam | Email

For five seasons, Mike Estes has coached East Lake's softball team. Next season, he will add volleyball to his coaching duties.

On Friday, Estes was named East Lake's volleyball coach. He replaces Terry Small, who resigned after leading the Eagles to the Class 5A state title last season. It was the school's first state title and the county's first since Clearwater won in 2000.

Small agreed to resign for good at the end of the season after the Florida High School Athletic Association conducted a two-year investigation in which it fined East Lake $11,125 and forced the program to forfeit all games in which two starters who received impermissible benefits (rides to school) played in during the 2009 season.

The Eagles broke away from the club volleyball scene with its selection of Estes, who said he has played the sport but never coached it.

"I'll learn as I go along," said Estes, whose daughter, Brittnay, plays on the volleyball team. "We'll go to a lot of camps in the summer, and I'll have to pick some good assistant coaches."

Estes has done well with the softball team, guiding the Eagles to a berth in the 5A state final four. This season, East Lake is 17-0 and ranked No. 3 in the nation in the latest ESPN Rise poll.

"I think the school picked me because of my success with the softball team," Estes said.

Estes inherits a volleyball team that returns the majority of the starters from last year's state championship squad.

"There's so much talent there," Estes said. "All I have to do is make sure I get the names right in the lineup. Kind of like what I do with softball with this year's team."   

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