AURORA | Tanya Bond, an institution in Aurora-area prep girls volleyball coaching for more than two decades, has stepped down as Eaglecrest head coach.
Bond and husband, Chad, have overseen the Raptors for the past 20 seasons and helped build the program into one of the most annually competitive in Colorado over that span.
Bond, who serves as co-athletic director at Eaglecrest along with Vince Orlando, told the Sentinel the job would be posted immediately. She talked to returning players about the decision last Friday and has been gradually telling others, while she also sent out a letter of gratitude to the school community.
“It’s crazy, this weekend Chad and I were talking about when we started this, we didn’t even have kids,” said Bond, who now has two boys, including current senior Aiden. “This has just been our lives 100 percent over the last 20 years, so to step away is a little scary and a little sad, but it’s time. We have to be able to put in more time with our kids now.”
The coronavirus pandemic made for a difficult final season, as Bond’s Raptors had to play in Season C instead of the fall and finished 8-6, missing out on qualifying for the Class 5A postseason, which was drastically reduced in size.
It was also emotionally trying for the Bonds, who were longtime friends of former administrator Shane Snyder, who died in March after a difficult battle with cancer.
Whoever eventually takes over the Eaglecrest girls program has massive shoes to fill.
The Bonds’ run at Eaglecrest included a 2006 season that remains etched in state history as the Raptors completed a perfect 31-0 season by winning the Class 5A state championship with a win over mentor Patty Childress and rival Grandview.
It was particularly significant that the season included four victories over the Wolves, as the Bonds were on Childress’ staff before moving over to Eaglecrest in 2000 and helped the program reach elite status despite the large shadow cast by nearby Grandview, which made the 5A state final 10 times under Childress.
The Raptors lost to the Wolves in the next season’s state title match as the Wolves completed an undefeated season of their own. Cherry Creek followed that up with an unbeaten 2008 campaign in an unprecedented streak for the Centennial League.
“The level of volleyball was so good at that time,” said Bond, who recently had a chance to get together and talk old times with the retired Childress and Steve Huntingdale, the current Cherry Creek coach who was in charge of Smoky Hill’s powerhouse program in the early 2000s.
Bond said that on top of the level of talent, the support she got from parents and the Eaglecrest community couldn’t be matched.
“There have been some amazing kids who we got to be part of their lives,” Bond said. “We were blessed with great kids and great families and parents. We really had no parent issues or hardly any at all over 20 years, which is probably why we were able to stick with it for so long. You heard about frustrations in other places, but we had a really top notch community.”
The Bonds certainly aren’t done with volleyball at Eaglecrest, however.
Chad Bond has coached boys volleyball for more than two decades as well and is leading the Eaglecrest team this spring as it competes in the first season of the sport sanctioned by the Colorado High School Activities Association. Aiden Bond is on the roster.
Aurora’s volleyball sidelines will look different in the girls season in the fall without the Bonds or Terry Miller — who decided prior to the season to retire early — at Cherokee Trail.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports