Coach Interview: Hilda Arrechea: Katie Peverada speaks to long time Head Skidmore Volleyball Coach

Posted by Katie Peverada

KP: You were a player on the Puerto Rican National Volleyball team - how does that transfer to coaching?
HA: I say this as a joke but it's the reality to it. Once I couldn't play anymore, then coaching became the alternative. It's a natural progression - I could stay in the game, pass on a little bit of what I learned, and hopefully continue in that tradition of playing and coaching.

KP: You've been at Skidmore since 1995 - how did you end up here?
HA: It was a long road. My husband graduated from Cornell, where I was an assistant for several years, and then he came to work at Union College. So we were in the area, the position opened up, I applied and got the job.

KP: What is your favorite part about coaching here at Skidmore?
HA: It sounds a little clich??, but I enjoy the kids. I enjoy especially this time of the year as they're graduating. Even though I'll miss them, it is a fun and exciting new adventure that the seniors are getting ready to take on.

KP: You've been very successful throughout your time here, making 7 NCAA tournaments and winning 4 Liberty League tournaments. How do you see this year's team stacking up against past teams?
HA: This team is very similar to last year's, as we lost only a couple of players. One of the biggest qualities of last year and this year is that the team never gives up. We can get killed in a set and then we come back strong. We just don't seem to give up. We have good talent but it's just the never give up attitude that I really like about this team.

KP: Your coaching staff has won Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year seven times. How/why do you three work so well together?
HA: Our egos are very, very small. One of the assistant coaches is my husband and the other one has been with us for ten years now. There is very little ego. As the head coach I have the final word, but we talk as equals and they'll openly tell me "I think that's a bad idea" or "I think we have something better." We cooperate with each other very well.

KP: You just had 11 girls named to the Liberty League All-Academic team - what do you do as a coach to ensure the players are succeeding academically?
HA: They make sure themselves, I think. You ask questions, make sure they do the work, but ultimately they are the ones responsible for that.

KP: What is your favorite thing to do outside of volleyball and coaching?
HA: I actually eat out a lot! I enjoy it! I enjoy sewing and the neighbors' kids keep me very entertained.  

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