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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Southside High School head coach Steve Haaser directs his team during an Early Bird Invitational volleyball match, Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Bentonville High School in Bentonville. Fort Smith Southside volleyball coach Steve Haaser is in his 40th season of coaching and will top 1,000 wins this season. He has won a total of 15 state titles (8 in volleyball), but also won in girls basketball, baseball and track. Haaser was also a standout baseball player for St. Anne's, playing for Hall of Fame coach Billy Bock at St. Anne's Academy in Fort Smith. He also played for Norm DeBriyn at Arkansas.

Arkansas prep volleyball coaches now have a specific number of victories to shoot for to be the best in the state.

Fort Smith Southside volleyball coach Steve Haaser will finish his career with 1,015 victories. The 67-year-old recently finished his 40th season at Southside and decided it would be his last. It was made official at a school board meeting last week.

"It's been a good run," Haaser said. "I've enjoyed it. I've said it before, it's a great place to work. It's been fulfilling I guess is a good word. We've had some talented girls come through. It's been a pleasure to coach and to do it that long. I guess I'm fulfilled."

Haaser said he made his intentions to retire known quickly following the season to get a new coach in place to work with the team in the spring.

The longtime coach reached 1,000 wins earlier this season, but his Mavericks came up just short in a quest for his ninth state volleyball title. Southside fell in four sets to Conway in the Class 6A state finals. He finished with a career record of 1,015-240.

That win total easily leads the pack in volleyball in Arkansas, according to Arkansas Activities Association records. He surpassed former Jonesboro Westside's Glenda Patterson (783) several years back.

But he's in rare company even nationally according to Brad Wilson of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The National Federation of High Schools website showed 17 coaches with 1,000 or more wins, but Wilson said there are definitely more that have reached that plateau that aren't listed. He thought the figure was less than 40 though.

Haaser also guided Southside teams to a total of 15 state titles, which included four in girls track and field and three in girls basketball. He also won a pair of Overall state basketball titles. Haaser also coached baseball, the sport in which he excelled in school, helping St. Anne's Academy in Fort Smith to a pair of state titles in 1967 and '68. He also played at Arkansas.

Haaser started as a coach at Immaculate Conception Junior High in Fort Smith for six years until taking a job at Southside in 1979 to coach girls volleyball, basketball and track.

Sports on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: Longtime Southside volleyball coach retires

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