M-A grads are newest head coaches at Menlo School


Two former Menlo-Atherton athletes who used to compete against Menlo School have joined the Knights' staff as the school's newest varsity head coaches for the 2011-12 school year.

Fana Fuqua takes over as girls' water polo head coach and Atlee Hubbard takes the reins as head coach of the girls' volleyball program. Both have a wealth of experience playing and coaching from youth to the professional ranks.

Fuqua, who was a standout field player at M-A before switching to goalie at the University of California, was a U.S. National Team goalie and All-American for the Bears.

Fuqua most recently coached at Harker School and for Palo Alto High's summer program. Fuqua played on the U.S. National Team from 1998-2002 before serving as captain of a prestigious national league team in Sydney, Australia.

She captained the Cal team and was named team MVP and first-team All-American in 2000. After earning a bachelor's degree in early childhood development, Fuqua went on to serve as an assistant coach for goalkeepers and defense for Cal. She was an assistant coach for the Cal men's and women's teams and later was the women's varsity assistant at San Jose State.

At Menlo-Atherton, Fuqua started on the first girls' team for the Bears in 1994 as a field player. She now runs her own personal fitness and training business on the Peninsula and plays on the Peninsula Water Polo masters team.

"I believe that a positive experience in team athletics is crucial toward the development of youth into adulthood," Fuqua said in a statement. "The life lessons learned and friends made, are second to none."

Hubbard, a former NCAA Division I outside hitter at Sacramento State and professional player, coached the JV and frosh-soph teams at Castilleja in 2010, and was an assistant varsity coach the 2008 season for her sisters, head coach Tracie (Hubbard) Meskell, and assistant Gwen Hubbard.

The previous season she led the Christian Brothers (Sacramento) JV team to an undefeated season and assisted the varsity, which advanced to the CIF Division IV state final. She has coached club volleyball, camps and clinics since 2005.

Hubbard played professionally in Spain and Indonesia, and on a European tour from 2008-2010.

As an outside hitter for Sacramento State, she was named twice to the All-Big Sky Conference first team. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in photography and coaches club volleyball.

"In coaching my athletes, I always strive to model the types of behavior that is conducive to becoming a well-rounded member of society," Hubbard said. "What I love about the sport of volleyball is that it can reveal a player's faults and shine on their strengths. It is my goal to show my athletes how to be responsible for all aspects of their play, and build trust in themselves and their teammates to be successful on and off the court."

-- Palo Alto Online Sports/Pam McKenney of Menlo School

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