Former Incline Girls Volleyball Coach inducted into the NIAA Hall of Fame

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Artis Brandt, former Incline High School girls volleyball coach, was inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony June 13 at the Peppermill Resort and Casino in Reno.

Artis Brandt was celebrated during a ceremony on June 13.
Laney Griffo/Tahoe Daily Tribune

Brandt began her coaching career as head of Incline’s girls volleyball program in 1975-76, the same year the NIAA first sanctioned the sport and just three years after Title IX was passed. Although Title IX required female athletes to have the same access to sports as male athletes, that didn’t mean things immediately became equal, so Brandt spent her first year as a coach, fighting for her girls.

“When Title IX came along, it meant equal time in the gym, but the basketball coaches weren’t really receptive to that,” Brandt said.

The volleyball team was relegated to the last practice of the evening, meaning they were practicing for every practice until 9pm on school nights. Brandt met with the basketball coaches and assistant principal to make sure the teams rotated practice times so the girls weren’t always the last of the day.

Brandt coached at Incline High School from 1975 to 2002.
Provided / Artis Brandt

She had immediate success with her girls. In 1977 and 1979, her teams received state runner-up trophies. They went on to win state championships in 1982 and 1984. The 1981 and 1982 teams went on a run of 42 consecutive regular season victories.

When asked about her coaching strategy, Brandt said, “You have to work hard to win.”

“I was in favor of the warm-up. The girls loved it, we worked hard and that’s how we won our first championship,” said Brandt.

Although she also added that they were lucky to have some real talent on the team.

“It was a combination of that and everyone working well together, they were just learning,” Brandt said.

In addition to coaching, Brandt also helped create several tournaments, including the Incline High School Girls Volleyball Invitational Tournament and the Doubles Grass Volleyball Tournament.

Brandt left Incline to move to Montana in 2002 after 26 straight years at Incline High School, but kept coming back to cheer her team on for several state championships.

“That was a tough decision to make, deciding when we were going to leave,” said Brandt, who added that she gets emotional at the end of every season.

Even after an absence of more than 20 years, she still kept in touch with many of her players, and members of her 1982 team attended the Hall of Fame ceremony.

“The game has evolved from the early years, I was fortunate enough to play at the grassroots level,” Brandt said.

In 1982, Brandt was named Coach of the Year.
Provided / Artis Brandt

In addition to coaching volleyball, Brandt also helped coach the ball and discus track and field teams for fifteen years, two seasons of cheerleading and one season of softball. She also served as the school’s activities director for twenty years.

She credits much of her success to her husband, Richard Brandt, who helped support her passion. He coached football at Whittell High School and Brandt said she would sit behind the goalposts so she wouldn’t be seen on one side or the other of the team.

When it comes to her final thoughts on volleyball, “I just love the game,” she said.