Diane Wydler, Coach
When Diane Wydler came to Moreau in 1971, it had only been opened to girls for one year. Her job was to teach PE and coach whatever teams she could come up with. There was no athletic program for girls; it was her job to start it. Diane coached all the girls’ teams: varsity and junior varsity volleyball, basketball, and softball. They had no uniforms and very little equipment. Diane’s father had to put the hooks in the walls of Garin Gym just so they could put up volleyball nets. The gym had a cement fl oor covered with linoleum.
There were no leagues, titles or playoffs like there are today. There was no Title IX, guaranteeing any equality for female athletes and teams. There was the Girls’ Catholic Athletic League, composed of teams from other Catholic schools between Hayward and Vallejo. The league had no formal transportation to games and no pool of offi cials and referees. Everything was organized and run by coaches, players, parents, and friends of the girls’ teams.
Diane’s fi rst teams had little concept of the level of play she was trying to teach them. She took them to USVBA tournaments, Olympic exhibition matches, and “AA” fast pitch softball games just to show them what was possible; what she was trying to teach them. Fortunately, she had good athletes and good students to work with. Soon the teams were improving and becoming some of the better teams in the league.
It was Diane’s goal to help raise the skill level of the entire Catholic Athletic League, so she and her volleyball players began conducting weekend workshops and clinics for the Catholic grammar schools that fed into the Catholic high schools. She also conducted volleyball clinics for the players on the other teams in the league–their opponents. There was no charge for these clinics, the only goal was to raise the level of skill in the entire league.
Diane’s legacy is the foundation of the girls’ athletic program that exists today. The program she began building soon became too much for one person or one coach. Diane hired Kathy Joseph, who was one of the best basketball coaches in the area and later became the Athletic Director at Moreau. Diane also hired Janet Chrisman, who coached many successful teams and is still teaching at Moreau. It was Diane’s goal to help each student and athlete enjoy and take delight in performing as well as they could, to enjoy playing the sport and to couple their individual skills with others to form a cohesive team. Recruiting was not a formal part of athletics when Diane coached. She believed in taking the girls who wanted to play and teaching them to play as well as they could, then molding them into the best team they could be.
Diane lives in San Jose and is a marriage and family therapist for a non-profi t agency. Diane feels that her life has come full circle. Diane refl ects, “I still have many friends from my teaching and coaching days at Moreau. I think that God helps to direct our path in life and my time, work, and accomplishments at Moreau are an important and integral part of who I am today.”