There will be another Aleman coaching volleyball at Sherman this fall.

There will be another Aleman coaching volleyball at Sherman this fall.

The Aleman family has become synonymous with Bearcat athletics for many years as both students and coaches, and includes Malina Aleman, who led the volleyball Lady Bearcats successfully for 10 seasons. Now the ranks have grown again as one of Malina’s former understudies, Ashley Aleman, takes over on the hardwood this fall.

Even though she, like her former coach, married into the family, Ashley Aleman said she’s proud to carry the name forward.

"I’m really excited," she said Tuesday evening. "I graduated from Sherman High School, so this is my hometown, my pride and joy. I’m excited to be here."

Ashley Aleman becomes the fourth Sherman head volleyball coach to take over since Malina Aleman’s final season in 2009. She also becomes the fourth Aleman to have coached at Sherman recently.

Malina remains with Sherman ISD as a physical education teacher at Dillingham Intermediate School and her husband, Chico, is entering his fourth decade as Sherman’s soccer coach. Ashley’s husband, Josh, is a Bearcat football assistant offensive line coach starting his second year on Bill Patterson’s staff.

Ashley Aleman, who previously coached at Whitewright, Austin Del Valle and Valley View, was originally hired this summer to coach at Piner Middle School, but was elevated to the high school when Amy Draper announced after one season she was leaving to take a job as an adjunct instructor in Fort Worth.

Aleman, formerly Ashley Reed, graduated from Sherman in 2004 along with her future husband. They dated in high school, but they attended Texas Tech separately and began dating again in college.

"A basic love story," she said.

Ashley Aleman played for Malina Aleman (formerly Bernard) from 2000-03, and those years constituted the high-water mark of Sherman’s volleyball success. The Lady Cats won district championships in both 2002 and 2003, the latter of which resulted in a 29-8 record and a Class 4A Region II semifinal advance led by her and fellow seniors Jana Mustard, Ashley Powell and Alyssa Bradshaw.

"I have lots of great memories of playing with Malina," Aleman said. "We were very successful. We had a great program. Me and my teammates, we went undefeated in district and my junior year, we went three rounds in the playoffs. Then in my senior year, we went four rounds.

"That’s what I want to bring back to this place. I want to bring back some success and some pride and some excitement to be on that court wearing that Sherman Bearcat jersey."

Shortly after graduating from Tech in 2009, Ashley Aleman landed her first job at Whitewright, a school that was reinstating its volleyball program at the time. After four seasons, she had built the Lady Tigers into a playoff contender. Aleman was named Herald Democrat All-Texomaland volleyball coach of the year in 2011.

"They were brand new, so I had to get in there and teach and educate kids on what the rules of volleyball were, even at the varsity level," she said. "Teaching positions and stuff. My first year was rough, we won one game all season, but then my second year we won four games, and my third and fourth year we were winning 16 or 17 games and competing for a playoff spot."

In 2013, she and Josh relocated to Austin for a year, where she worked at Del Valle, then last year the family moved back to North Texas. Ashley took over at Valley View and coached the Lady Eagles to a winning season and their first volleyball playoff appearance.

With the start of volleyball practice looming in less than two weeks, Ashley Aleman has a lot of work to do to get ready, with finalizing the schedule and getting the word out about practices.

"Coach Draper left us in a good position," Aleman said. "She has a camp set up for next week for the girls to be in. I think we have almost 30 participants in that camp. That’s nice. They’ve been doing open gym all summer, and we’ve got a workout and conditioning program Monday through Thursday. I’m pushing for them to be in that for the next couple of weeks and then we get going August 3 with two-a-days."

District placement has resulted in tough sledding for the Lady Cats, whose most recent volleyball playoff appearance was in 2006. They will compete once again in District 10-5A, which includes six-time state champion Lovejoy as well as other established programs with lots of club-experienced players.

‘"We’re going to work and build and do the best we can," Aleman said. "We’re going to compete and focus on the things we can control."