On June 4th 2022, the Kansas Volleyball Association (KVA) inducted St James Academy Coach, Nancy Dorsey, into their 9th Hall of Fame class.

Nancy has been the head volleyball coach at St James Academy since the school opened in 2005. In 15 varsity seasons, Dorsey’s teams have played in the State Championship game 14 times, winning 9 State Titles (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018) and finishing 2nd 5 times (2007, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021).  She has had two teams crowned PrepVolleyball.com National Champions in 2010 and 2013, was 3rd in the nation in 2015, and 4th in the nation in 2008 and 2011. In 2013, Dorsey’s team remained unbeaten, going 46-0, dropping only a single set the entire season. 

She has received numerous coaching awards, including 4A KVA Coach of the Year (2008, 2009), 5A KVA Coach of the Year (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018), the Greater Kansas City Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year (2008, 2011) and in 2013 she was the KCA Coach of the Year, the American Family Insurance All-USA Coach of the Year, and a finalist for the Kansas City Sports Commission Coach. In 2015, Dorsey was selected as the America Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coach of the Year. 

When you ask Dorsey about what she is most proud of from her time coaching, it isn’t the wins or the accolades. When she got into teaching and coaching her ultimate goal was to help create an army of young, strong, confident women.  Through many weddings and alumni parties, it is easy to see that Coach Dorsey and her players are a family, but the idea of family within the program runs even deeper. She has also brought a family approach to coaching.  Her husband, Bryan, has been coaching with her for the past 16 seasons, and her sister, Jen, coached with her through 2013.   Nancy and Bryan are parents to 5 children; Finley, Ellen, Cooper, Fiona, and Fletcher, who you can often see around the gym.  She has also had several former players come back and coach through the years and several others who have taken the head coaching jobs at schools and clubs. When asked, these are the “stats” Dorsey is most proud of in her years as a coach.

Her efforts to change the landscape of volleyball have been seen in many different ways on and off the court. After a close friend’s daughter and several students at St. James were diagnosed with different forms of cancer, she noticed just how little federal funding goes towards childhood cancer, less than 4%. In 2015, she started the Lemon Out; an annual event created to raise money for research on pediatric cancer. This event now includes the other local catholic schools, who all participated by having a dress-down day to raise money and is capped by a volleyball match which includes a raffle and hero walk. Last year these heroes included those who have battled 12 different kinds of pediatric cancer. Through this, Dorsey was awarded the top fundraising organizer for Alex’s Lemonade Stand by raising $130,000 total alone this year. 

For the Thunder and Dorsey, the volleyball season in 2022 will begin the same as it has for the past 13 years, with the Volleyball Slam hosted at St. James. After Dorsey’s endless emails, letters, and phone calls to show more women’s sports on television, the Volleyball Slam was born. With Spectrum Sports – this day showcases 8 matches from some of the best teams in the Kansas City area. For many, this is their first, and only, time to play for a live TV broadcast. 

Her parting words to this year’s KVA All-Stars were: In life, you get what you expect and accept, so only accept and expect the best and that is exactly what you will receive. Words that Coach Dorsey has put into action time and time again, and will continue to do while changing the landscape of volleyball both locally and nationally.