Back in 2004, Coach Shane LeCroy was a happy, busy man. He was coaching volleyball and basketball at Greenville High School after retiring from the Pro-Am Beach Volleyball tour. And then one day, things changed.
“I was coaching volleyball and basketball at Greenville High and they asked me to coach lacrosse, and I didn’t really know anything about it,” LeCroy says.
That quickly changed. “I fell in love with it,” LeCroy says. “But there was nothing for the boys to do after a season, because it was brand new here in Greenville.”
That’s when LeCroy and his wife Stephanie got the idea for Excell Sports, a program that offered additional skill training, positive reinforcement, exposure to high-level competition camps, clinics and a tenured coaching staff.
For the past 13 years, Excell Sports has helped grow and popularize lacrosse across the Upstate. Bringing in coaches Matt Hogue, Corey Strauss and Brian Barnett, LeCroy has created an intensive training program which builds players from the ground up. “One of the kids’ dad owned a field and we met out there,” he says. “We had 25 kids the first summer, and that grew to 40 the next summer, and we moved to the YMCA and it continued to grow.”
Something must have clicked, because LeCroy and his Greenville High lacrosse teams won consecutive lacrosse championships from 2006–2010. But he still loved volleyball, too. He was voted Coach of the Year three times for his volleyball program at Greenville High, and his teams were three-time regional champions. So naturally, there were just as many kids (and parents) interested in continuing to play volleyball for LeCroy in the offseason as there were for lacrosse. But with two small children to take care of in addition to his coaching duties, LeCroy didn’t see any time to add anything else. Enter his 9-year-old daughter.
“We were asked to add volleyball to Excell Sports a bunch of times,” he says, “but when my daughter came up to me two years ago and said she wanted to play volleyball, we searched all around and found a lot of people saying, ‘If you pay $2,000, we can put her on a club team.’ And I didn’t feel like paying $2,000 for volleyball for my 9-year-old.”
He adds, “[My wife and I] decided that now that we have time, why don’t we do for volleyball what we did for lacrosse?’
“So I started looking around and found some really great coaches that shared my passion and my vision of where the club program should lie, and we came together and formed the Excell volleyball side,” LeCroy says.
Today, under the aegis of Volley America, which tracks and seeds club-level volleyball teams across the country, LeCroy’s teams play in tournaments and leagues up and down the East Coast.
But it’s not as much about the tournaments for LeCroy as it is about to teach people the sports he loves. “My passion is in coaching,” he says. “I love working with young adults and teaching them life lessons and seeing them grow and mature. God gives people gifts in their lives, and I feel like I’m really good at relating to young people. Some people are in it for money, but we’re in it to grow the game and pass it on to others and have people fall in love with it.”
For more information, visit excellsports.org.