Erika Weber is no stranger to volleyball in the Midlothian area. She will soon become quite well-known to those who enjoy watching Midlothian Heritage volleyball, too.
Weber was officially named as the next head volleyball coach at Midlothian Heritage on Monday evening, following approval by the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees. The news of her hire was announced to the Heritage volleyball program on Thursday afternoon.
The search for a new head volleyball coach began after Timmi Blackshear announced her resignation in January.
Weber, who is currently an assistant volleyball and softball coach at Cuero High School, becomes the third head coach in the program's short history, following Sarah Hallum (2015-16) and Blackshear (2017-18).
Heritage finished its most recent volleyball season with a 34-15 overall record. The Jaguars captured their first-ever district and regional championships and advanced to the state semifinals in the process.
"Being given the opportunity to lead a volleyball program in such a competitive atmosphere as Midlothian Heritage is what I've waited on my entire career," Weber said. "While it'll be bittersweet to leave Cuero High School, I am very excited to re-join the Midlothian community and look forward to continuing the winning traditions of Midlothian Heritage High School."
Heritage campus athletic coordinator Lee Wiginton, then-interim MISD athletic director John Crawford and Heritage principal Krista Tipton conducted the search in collaboration, and all agreed with the decision to move forward with Weber.
"We kept turning up the same information over and over, and that is that she is a 'can't-miss' hire," Wiginton said. "Because her ties in Waxahachie, we were able to contact parents of kids who were coached by coach Weber and all of the parents spoke very highly of her and the administration spoke very highly of her. Everywhere we checked, it was the same story and it became a no-brainer hire."
When asked what separated Weber from the rest of the candidates, Wiginton confidently stated, "everything really."
"To us, a trait that is good as anything that there is is that she is a coach's kid. She has been around education and sports and coaching since birth and that goes an awfully long way," he explained. "There are so many things to prepare for and that you can't begin to get ready for if you have never been around it. Prior to ever coaching, she already had a leg up on most and then outside of that she has been around some outstanding volleyball."
Weber (then Knowles) is a 2006 graduate of Waxahachie High School, where she was a three-year starter at libero for the Sandy Faussett-Stoops-led Lady Indians. Her mother, Bobbie (Knowles) Janky, was the varsity assistant for the Lady Indians volleyball program from 2001 until her retirement in 2017.
Weber was promptly named the Sooner Athletic Conference freshman of the year in 2006 while at Southern Nazarene University. She was also named the All-SAC second-team that season.
Weber went on to record 1,880 digs in 402 sets over the next three seasons (2007-09) as the starting libero for the Crimson Storm.
She is listed 76 times in SNU record book for match-, season- and career-highs, including six times for single-match digs, which she leads with 47 and also ranks second with 43 (twice) and fourth with 39. Weber has her name listed 14 times in the most digs in a single match category.
Weber also still holds the SNU career record with 2,558 digs.
She graduated from SNU in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and returned to Waxahachie to assume assistant coaching duties for the Lady Indians volleyball and softball programs.
During her seven-year career in Waxahachie, Weber met her husband, Campbell, and the two have since birthed two boys, Riggins and Rhett.
The Webers moved to Cuero in 2017, Campbell's hometown, which is where she currently teaches and coaches volleyball and softball.
"Everyone that we talked to about her, it was just the same story over and over," Wiginton added. "She is great at everything she does and everyone kind of agreed that, not only is she already wonderful, but she is going to be that way for a very long time. And, on top of that, she is extremely familiar with the area and was living in the Heritage zone [before moving to Cuero], so she is very familiar with this community."
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith