By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston East sports department announced on Monday that current girls basketball coach Jhamal Diggs would be taking over the vacant boys volleyball coach position for this upcoming spring season. Longtime boys and girls volleyball
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston East sports department announced on Monday that current girls basketball coach Jhamal Diggs would be taking over the vacant boys volleyball coach position for this upcoming spring season.
Longtime boys and girls volleyball coach Meg McGonagle passed away at 41 years old in December due to complications from COVID-19. McGonagle won state titles on each side and was one of the top coaches in East’s history during her tenure.
Diggs is looking forward to the opportunity and hopes to build on the strong foundation that McGonagle laid.
“I’m excited, I’m excited to continue what Coach Meg started. I’m doing this in Meg’s honor, she was a mentor and a friend of mine. She did a lot for the boys and girls programs, I think it is really, really important that I keep this going for her,” said Diggs.
Diggs played college volleyball for Johnson and Wales University and has been an assistant coach for the La Salle boys team for the past three seasons. He was also the head coach at Times2 for a year.
Diggs is thrilled to be able to lead another team at East, a place that he has grown fond of since taking over the girls basketball squad.
“Cranston East is home. It turned home a few years ago when I started with the girls. It’s definitely a good feeling going into the spring with the boys. I’m comfortable going into the year with the boys and continuing a positive, winning culture that Coach Meg established,” Diggs said. “I have been an assistant for awhile now and this was something that Coach Meg and I spoke about (prior) to her passing. It wasn’t definite, but with everything that occurred, the opportunity came and it was only right that I continued this for her. The opportunity presented itself but I wasn’t looking for it. East is home and it felt right to take this opportunity.”
Between quality talent and a winning environment, Diggs is confident that the team will be able to compete this spring and hit the ground running.
“When you talk about strengths, volleyball skill set, these kids have it. They play a lot, they play during the offseason. They’re all good kids. Not only is there a winning atmosphere on the court, but (McGonagle) built a family atmosphere off the court. I'm definitely going to strive to carry that over. She held that close to her heart - keeping the kids together as one,” said Diggs, who is ready to take on the new challenge. “Basketball is a transition sport, volleyball is not. Making sure my boys are prepared mentally and physically to tackle this season. It isn’t going to be easy, it’s going to be a change for me and for them, especially coming off of the events that occurred. I think it’s going to be a good season, it’s going to be something positive. We’re going to do it for Coach Meg.”
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