The former Portland State standout replaces one-year coach Caitlin Gustin.

by: FILE - Terri Jo Schlatter became the head coach of the Canby volleyball team after serving for one year as an assistant.On many evenings, Terri Jo Schlatter returns home after practice and ices her shoulder.

The aches that result from hitting scores of volleyballs in a span of a few hours are physical reminders of her new position as coach of the Canby volleyball team.

“I’m feeling it on my body,” she said. “I can control the pace, but I’m definitely feeling it.”

Schlatter, who joined the Cougars as an assistant last season, brings to the program a wealth of experience as a collegiate player and longtime coach in the club ranks.

She fills the void left by Caitlin Gustin, a Canby High School alumna who took a teaching job in Sherwood after one year at the helm. The program has had three different head coaches in as many years.

For Schlatter, it’s the first high school head coaching job in a volleyball career that began more than three decades ago.

Schlatter said she didn’t give much thought to taking the helm of the program when she joined Gustin’s staff as an assistant a year ago. But when the opening arose, and several team parents encouraged her to take the gig, she decided it would be a worthwhile endeavor.

“I live here, I know the girls and I have this knowledge — why not share it with the kids and the community?” she said. “This is a way to do that.”

A native of Yoncalla, Ore., a tiny city in Douglas County, Schlatter graduated from Yoncalla High School in 1981 and burst onto the Oregon athletics scene as the first female three-sport competitor in Clackamas Community College history. She was inducted into the college’s athletics hall of fame in 2011.

But although Schlatter led the women’s basketball team in rebounding and earned all-America honors as a javelin thrower, she decided to pursue volleyball after serving as the CCC squad’s captain in 1982.

Known as Terri Jo Kelly at the time, Schlatter transferred to Portland State and led its volleyball program to a Division II national championship in 1984. She also earned all-conference honors as a senior middle blocker.

Schlatter then served as a graduate assistant coach for the Vikings while finishing her degree, and she remained on staff as an assistant through 1993.

“I always wanted to coach,” she said.

She also had a chance to play professionally with the Portland Strikers, but Major League Volleyball disbanded in 1989 — shortly after she joined the association.

“It folded partway into my one season, but that was kind of cool,” she said. “I got it on my resume.”

Schlatter eventually stepped down from her post at Portland State to raise children with her husband, current Canby football assistant coach Jim Schlatter, whom she married in 1987.

Their two daughters, Garyn and Kasey, both played volleyball at Canby High and now play in Division I at Portland State and Montana State, respectively. Their son, A.J., is a senior at CHS.

Schlatter did not coach her daughters in high school because Canby’s staff was already in place at the time, but she did coach them in the club ranks through her position with the Oregon Juniors Volleyball Academy.

And although Schlatter is doing more at Canby than she’s done with her club teams — she’s used to having several assistants help her facilitate drills in practice —she’s grateful for the opportunity she has with the Cougars this season.

“I’m loving it,” she said. “I like being in charge, and I like doing things my way. These girls work hard, they listen and they are respectful. They’re working their butts off, and that makes being in the gym with them amazing.”

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