As a Fort Lewis College alumna and former athlete of Shelly Aaland, I am heartbroken and angry to hear that the Chris and Shelly Aaland no longer will be at Fort Lewis College.
The Aalands’ dedication and passion for FLC improved the lives of the students, especially the athletes. Shelly brought together not only a successful team but also a quality group of girls. Although as a naive college student, I lacked the wisdom and maturity to properly handle situations, I am thankful for the experience I had at FLC.
Although I did not always agree with the coaches’ decisions, I am now able to step back and understand that it is about what is best for the team. To be a part of something larger than yourself and fully committing to the team – these are lessons that I was able to learn on and off the court from Shelly.
I now have the opportunity to try out and step on the court with a new attitude and understanding of commitment as an Air Force athlete. Looking back now, I am grateful to have been part of the wonderful FLC family. It deeply saddens me that the future Fort Lewis volleyball team will not get to share the wonderful dedication and support of Chris and Shelly Aaland.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.