BC coach reflects on his coaching journey
When Bakersfield College volleyball coach Carl Ferreira left his home in Hawaii to go play college basketball, he never expected that he would end up finding a career in volleyball.
“I left Hawaii really to get an education and to play college basketball at Santa Rosa Junior College,” said Ferreira. “If you asked me my top 500 things to do professionally, coaching women’s volleyball wasn’t even on the radar.”
He went to Santa Rosa because the college held basketball camps in Hawaii, and he became familiar with the program.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Ferreira, on how he got into coaching volleyball. “I lived in Hawaii my whole life before I graduated from high school, and when you live in Hawaii and you live on an island you play every sport. We’re not distracted by climate or season. You just play. I played high school volleyball in Hawaii, but at Santa Rosa is where volleyball for me really started and where I started to coach volleyball. I was in the P.E. class at Santa Rosa and the head volleyball coach was the teacher, and she saw that I knew how to play volleyball so she asked me to come help her team and practice with her team. That’s where it all started for me.”
He added that after helping the volleyball team at Santa Rosa he started his own youth club and had summer camps at different universities. His very first volleyball-coaching job was at Fresno State from 1991-92 as an assistant.
Then he started coaching at Stanford from 1993-94. He got his first head coach job at CSUB in ‘94, and he was there for three years. After that, he went on to be the head coach at University of Idaho from ’97-’99, and then went onto be the head coach at the University of Oregon in 2000 and was there for five years. After resigning as coach for Oregon, he came to coach the BC volleyball team in 2006.
“Coaching at an elite, division-1 level is completely stressful, so probably working at Oregon was the most stressful job I have ever had, and yet it was one of the most educational jobs I’ve had,” he said. “After that I thought I was going to be done with the coaching profession, but when this teaching and coaching job presented itself, I felt good about it. We felt very, very good about Bakersfield. We’ve been here before, and we knew people here. I learned that if I was going to get out of the profession I was doing it for the wrong reason because of stress, and not because of my origination of getting into the education field. It’s been a pretty fantastic experience to be coaching here.”
“Professionally, volleyball has been the one thing I have done the most,” said Ferreira. “I owe it a tremendous amount. That’s why I’m always willing to do anything to give back to anyone because this sport has done a lot for me and my family.”
He added that he met his wife through volleyball as well. They met during an indoor volleyball match when she was at the end of her professional volleyball career.
He explained how being from Hawaii has influenced him and how he coaches.
“Where we come from is pretty much the root of what we are as human beings, so I culturally still have a lot of the island style in me of the aloha spirit,” he said.
“Of giving, caring, appreciating and trying to give a culture where everybody blends, so I owe that to where I’m from and my family.”
He added that one of the biggest things he’s learned on all his coaching stops is that it’s not where you coach but just about impacting people.
“It doesn’t matter where you coach,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter. You do the same thing wherever you go, and that’s trying to impact people. You do that at the high school level, youth level, junior college level, division-2 and division-1 level.
“That’s really what it amounts to, so the sport itself has really no meaning until human beings bring that sport to life.
“That makes my number one job just managing people and trying to impact people and serve them in the highest level you can.
BC’s athletic director Ryan Beckwith commented on Ferreira.
“He’s probably one of the most positive people you will ever meet,” said Beckwith. “He has a different view of how to compete, of what athletics is and a different view of life.
“He has a positive approach in everything he does and he teaches that to his players. I think that’s one of the most important things he does. His overall view of how to train, how to play, how to deal with adversity and how to recover, he does it in a fantastic, positive manner that brings out the best in people.
“I’ve learned a lot from him just in a coaching standpoint of how to view things and how to move forward.
“He’s taking leadership and coaching to another level, and he’s just a great human being overall and it’s just fun being around him. My initial thought when I first met him was I was very impressed, and after meeting a guy like that you’re not surprised with where he’s been or what he’s done.”