The Saint Ignatius High School volleyball program has a new head coach and leader at the helm, but not a new face.
Months after leading the Wildcats to their first Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association (OHSBVA) State Championship, Casey Marcelo decided to step aside as head coach. With new obligations at his full-time job, Marcelo decided to pass on the torch.
Enter Jacob Layden. The Wisconsin native moved from Milwaukee to Cleveland in August 2016, later joining the Saint Ignatius volleyball coaching staff. Layden soon proved himself as a knowledgeable member of the staff, helping Marcelo and Co. strategize before and during matches. Following the team’s underdog state title run, Marcelo called Layden an essential part of the victory. So, when Marcelo decided to go out on top, Layden was the perfect for the job.
Layden attended both a Jesuit high school (Marquette University High School) and a college (Boston College). Layden understands the concept of “Men for Others” and his responsibility to not only train young men to be good volleyball players, but also to be outstanding men and citizens.
“We are always looking for good people to guide our young men at Saint Ignatius High School,” Fitzpatrick said. “Casey is a great person, and we’re sad to see him leave.”
Marcelo will certainly be missed. Under his leadership, the Wildcats clinched a bid to OHSBVA State Tournament in 10 consecutive seasons. Marcelo also served as a leader in the volleyball community. Marcelo was heavily involved with the United States of America Volleyball High Performance Program (USAV HP) and served as president of the OHSBVA from 2012-14.
“Jacob is the perfect person for the job,” Marcelo said. “Jacob did a wonderful job last season, and has a brilliant volleyball mind. I’m excited to watch him grow Wildcats volleyball.”
Fitzpatrick also spoke highly of Layden’s character and knowledge of the game.
“During the coaching search, I spoke with Coach Layden about the job. It was clear to me that his demeanor, his coaching knowledge, his organization and his care for our young men are what will make him an excellent coach,” Fitzpatrick said.
Layden is eager to build on a strong foundation of excellence in place. The new coach is ready to take the program to new heights.
“Working with Casey last year was a great experience. I would like to thank him for the 10 years of coaching and dedication to Saint Ignatius, capped off with a fantastic State Championship run,” Layden said. “He built an outstanding foundation that has become the premier program in Northeast Ohio.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue the tradition of excellence that Casey helped create. Looking forward, we are excited for this year and the group of young men we have in our program. I am committed to the success of Saint Ignatius volleyball and look forward to leading the program into the future.”
Layden, a financial adviser, lives with his wife, Laura, a professor at Case Western Reserve University.