Kelly Miser steps down at Kingwood Park to spend more time with family
HOUSTON - Saying goodbye is always tough no matter how long you've been at a place.
Kelly Miser is stepping back from her coaching and teaching role at Kingwood Park High School, where she led the Panthers volleyball program for the past six years, to spend more time with her family.
"I have a daughter, Adison, who is going to be a senior next year and my little one, Emerson, is four and a half and she's getting big so fast and it's just been heavy on my heart," Miser told VYPE in a phone interview. "I wanted to be available and present for my family as much as possible while I still have the chance and not miss out on the important things. That was the driving force behind it."
Miser built the Kingwood Park volleyball program into a state contender and then eventual Class 5A State Champion in 2018.
Prior to her arrival, the Panthers never made it past the second round of the playoffs. In 2016, they broke through to the Regional Quarterfinals and then reached the Region III-5A Tournament in 2017 and 2018, including reaching the Regional Championship both of those seasons and going to state in 2018.
Through the six years and more than 100 players that have come through the Kingwood Park program, it is the connections and relationships with those players and the coaches that made this run special.
"The part about coaching hard but loving the kids harder is where you make the connections and form those relationships, which is the main thing that hits you when you think about doing something different or walking away from it," Miser said. "It's the relationships that you form that is the pull that makes it hard to cut ties."
In 2018, the Panthers rolled to a 40-11 overall record. In the playoffs, they defeated Cedar Park, A&M Consolidated, Foster, Friendswood, and Randall to reach the Class 5A State Championship. In that match, Kingwood Park upended state power Lucas Lovejoy for the program's first-ever state crown.
It was also the second state championship in volleyball in Humble ISD history, joining the 1996 Kingwood team.
"That definitely was the highlight looking back, just the journey of getting to that point in the year and all of it combined," Miser said. "How we started off the season it was just a vibe that we all felt that it was something that we could actually do. We set the goal to do it.
"Throughout the season, the coaches and the kids we made the choice to put in the work and at the end of the day it paid off. We worked really hard on our team chemistry from the get-go and developing leadership. I think that was the special ingredient that was able to help us push through all the way to the end."
Miser is going to be taking a job in the Home Design & Renovation Industry, which has always piqued her interest because of the flexibility it offered in a career.
Even though Miser is stepping back from coaching volleyball at this point, a comeback to the sidelines at some point down the line isn't totally ruled out.
"I fell in love with this sport a long time ago and being a coach has taught me so many things and being a high school coach is a pretty special thing that I'll cherish," Miser said. "When you choose to be a coach there's not a lot that will be more important work in your life besides being a mom, wife, or being there for your family.
"It's an important job and definitely wouldn't rule it out coming back to it one day."