From a young age, volleyball was always a passion for Danna Wincher when it came to sports.
Growing up in Runge, Wincher tried to compete in track & field but always found herself committing to volleyball.
Her love for the sport led to a coaching career right out of college.
Now after two decades in Houston, Wincher is making her return to the area as the new head volleyball coach at Victoria East.
“I was interested in coming back to be with my family,” Wincher said. “I didn’t anticipate it to be so soon, but I felt God had opened his door for me, and here I am. It’s basically my family that relocated me. Yes, I know I’m dropping from a 6A to a 5A, but these kids and this community have really showed their love and welcomed me.”
Wincher first played college volleyball at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio before transferring to Sul Ross State University. It was in Alpine where Wincher got her first coaching experience, as a graduate assistant in 1997.
Then she was head coach at Frank Phillips College from 1998-2001, where she led the school to a conference title and a national tournament appearance.
Wincher relocated to Houston in 2001 following her marriage, and started working at Pasadena ISD, first at Beverly Hills Intermediate and then at South Houston High School.
“It’s just that feeling of seeing our kids develop into individuals, working on life skills,” Wincher said. “My goal for my kids is to continue into the collegiate level. This is my passion. I’ll do whatever I can do to help our kids progress.”
Wincher’s opportunity opportunity at East came with the departure of Shaun Miller in the spring.
Limited to just district games in 2020, the Lady Titans went 0-16 in Miller’s lone season as head coach.
Wincher is looking forward to building a competitive program.
“My focus this year is consistency,” Wincher said. “My kids need someone that’s going to be consistent. My passion and my drive is what I’ve brought so forth. My kids are so eager and so hungry for that. I hope my skills and my knowledge of the game is going to help me develop my program.”
Wincher has already seen the benefits of being closer to home.
”Some of my former teammates are now head coaches (in the area) and now I get to see them,” Wincher said. “It’s very rewarding. I just see this as an opportunity to give back. These kids are eager and they’ve really excited me and they actually gave me goose bumps and I haven’t had that in a while. It’s a little slower here, but I think with my experience in Houston I’m able to transfer it here.”