By David Fong
Many years ago, one of Beth Greulich Coduti’s volleyball coaches suggested to her parents that maybe she would be better off trying a different sport.
Any other sport, as a matter of fact.
“They were right — I wasn’t very good,” Greulich Coduti said. “In seventh and eighth grade, I didn’t play a game. They told my parents I should probably be doing something else, because volleyball really wasn’t my sport.”
All of which just goes to show just how foolhardy hastily made decisions can be — particularly when it comes to young athletes. Following her lackluster junior high school career, Greulich Coduti would go on to become one of the best volleyball players in Troy High School and Cleveland State University history.
This weekend, Greulich Coduti — the volleyball player nobody wanted — will be one of five athletes inducted into the 2015 class of the Trojan Athletics Hall of Fame. She’ll become just the second female athlete ever to be inducted. She will be in attendance for a ceremony before the Troy football team’s game Friday, and then formally inducted into the hall of fame Saturday night at a banquet at the Crystal Room in Troy.
Not too shabby, considering it had once be suggested she quit the sport.
“My parents never told me what they said at the time,” Greulich Coduti said. “They knew how much I loved the sport and how much I enjoyed just being with my friends. I think they figured, ‘She loves it so much, we’ll just let her go.’ They let me figure things our for herself.”
By the time she got to high school, Greulich Coduti was starting to figure things out. She would end up being a four-year starter for the Trojans, earning team MVP and first-team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference honors as a junior and senior.
Even then, though, Greulich Coduti was only beginning to scratch the surface of her incredible potential.
“Looking back, I was extremely clueless in high school,” Greulich Coduti said. “I didn’t realize my talents and my abilities. It was definitely mental. I had to learn how to trust myself. In high school, I don’t think you truly realize how good you are or how good you can be. When I started getting recruited, I think I finally started to figure things out.”
Greulich Coduti would end up at Cleveland State University, where her career would truly blossom. After being named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2006, should would go to earn first-team All-Horizon League honors in each of her final three seasons. She would end up a seven-time Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week.
As a junior, she was named to the All-Horizon League Tournament Team. As a senior, she was a unanimous choice as Horizon League Player of the Year and an honorable mention Division I All-American. She would finish her career as only the second player in Cleveland State history to rack up more than 1,200 kills and 350 blocks.
“I was definitely a different player in college than I was in high school,” Greulich Coduti said. “I grew up a lot. By the time I got to college, I had a lot more confidence in myself; I knew what I was capable of doing.”
Following her graduation from CSU, Greulich Coduti would spend three years as an assistant college coach at Baldwin-Wallace and the University of Akron. She would soon realize, however, that coaching younger athletes was her true passion. This year, Greulich Coduti — who also was married over the summer — is an assistant coach at Westlake High School.
“I enjoyed coaching in college — but I was only 99 percent into it,” she said. “At that level, you have to be 110 percent into it. I want to help younger players who may be like I was at that age. I want to give them the confidence and help them figure it out. That’s important to me. That’s what I love doing.”
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong