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Calendar of Events




One of the first things a parent should ask when choosing a youth sports program is "Who is going to coach my son or daughter and what are their qualifications?" Coaches come in all shapes and forms - and not all are equal. At the Desert Sports Center we start with the very best - and we make them even better. With more than 40 years of coaching experience at the college and high school levels, the staff at DSC can not be equalled in the Coachella Valley.


Desert Sports Center 760-772-5175
  Fax: 760-772-5195
Detlev Rothe, Director 760-409-2740
Marion  Champion 760-604-4120 
Melissa Walker 760-238-0789
Ashley Walker 760-238-0790
Gary      Wilhoite 760-408-5188
Travis Yokimcus 715-309-9707
Dana Graham 760-485-1424
Erin Conway  
John Alano  
Elizabeth Dean   
Ralphie Carbajal 760-771-7329 
Meagan Chafey  
Emily Gregory  


The Desert Sports Center sets its self apart from other community sport programs by offering superior coaching and expertise in Volleyball, Basketball and Futsal. A member of the Positive Coaching Alliance, the Desert Sports Center offers athletes the finest coaches in the valley.



Detlev Rothe -Desert Sports Center Director & Head Volleyball Coach – 16 National/18 National 

In his seventh year coaching club volleyball in the desert, Detlev has taken club volleyball to the next level of player development and competitiveness.  As the Director of DSVC and a CAP and IMPACT certified coach he will head our top National level team at the 18’s divisions this year as well as continuing the Academy and Training program this season.  His NCAA collegiate coaching experience at nationally ranked Cal State Hayward from 1996-2003 brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to local athletes.  Detlev has coached club volleyball in Santa Barbara, Austin TX, the San Francisco bay area, and now here in the desert for over 20 years, including multiple trips to the Junior National Championships and a bronze medal as a player.  A product of Laguna Beach High School and years of playing experience with Laguna Beach Volleyball Club and at UC Santa Barbara gives DSVC strong leadership and vision for what he believes to be an unlimited future for club volleyball in the Coachella Valley! 

Detlev also heads up our Coach Mentor Program and College Recruiting Program helping every athlete that seeks an opportunity to play at the collegiate level fulfill that goal.  Detlev moved to the desert just over six years ago with his wife Marion. The couple welcomed their first child Juliette in 2007.  Look for her on the sidelines already with a great arm swing!


Marion Champion – Volleyball

A Delta Valley and bay area product, Marion brings her years of collegiate playing and coaching skills back again this year.  As an all-league and all-state player for Delta Valley College, she went on to nationally ranked CSUH where she lead the team to the NCAA tournament each year and holds the school record for kills in a single season!  Her extensive coaching experience in the bay area with national power program Delta Valley VBC, combined with her tenure in the desert combine for more than 15 years at the club level. Numerous all-tournament selections and player of the week honors during her collegiate years, plus several outdoor doubles titles makes Marion an exceptional role model for the athletes in our program.

Marion has also taken on a larger role in the local volleyball community starting her first year as Lead Assistant at College of the Desert.  The team started out on an 8-2 pace and first place in league half way through the season.  They are seeking only their second playoff berth in over 10 years.

Marion will coach DSVC’s first National level team at the 12’s division.  We are very excited about the direction of our youth level teams and look forward to setting a whole new standard at this age group in the valley.

Gary Wilhoite – Volleyball - 14 National/16 Black 

In his third year coaching with DSVC, Gary brings a wealth of volleyball knowledge to our program.  Last season he guided our 15 Elite team to the clubs highest League and Festival finish ever at that division. His impressive volleyball resume is chalked full of experience both as a player and a coach. His playing career started in Santa Barbara where he played high school ball with none other than Karch Kiraly as they earned a state championship. Later, Gary took his skills to SBCC where he earned all state honors paving the way for his added success at UCSB. After college, he competed professionally on the 4-man beach tour. Regarded as one of the finest coaches available in club volleyball, Gary has also led the Palm Springs Indians to four league titles and continuous CIF Playoff berths in the last nine years.  Gary will hold the role of Coach Mentor in 2009/2010 as well.

Travis Yocimkus – Volleyball – 15 National

DSVC welcomes Travis to the program with great excitement from both players and coaches.  As an integral part of the years of success and a player favorite at Palm Springs High School, Travis will make the jump back to club volleyball after years of coaching baseball when school volleyball season was over.  A 3-sports collegiate athlete (football, baseball, volleyball) at NCAA Wisconsin-Stout University, Travis brings additional college recruiting experience to the upperclassmen and will coach our second National team at the 17/18 Division.

Melissa Walker - Volleyball – 13 National/16 National/17 National

A DSVC alum, Melissa is entering into her fourth year coaching at DSVC.  A multi-sport collegiate athlete, Melissa has competed in both volleyball and basketball at College of the Desert. A Palm Desert High School graduate, Melissa lettered in three sports and is a great role model for all she coaches. She had a very successful 16 Regional and 17 National team last season, having taken the 17 National to a top 25 finish at the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix this past summer. Melissa is currently the Head/Varsity coach at Shadow Hills HS, helping the brand new high school launch their volleyball program! She took the Knights in 2012 to their 1st undefeated season going 10-0 in League and went as far as Quater-Finals in CIF. A true competitor, Melissa shows the girls what it means to play with heart and conviction every time they step on the court.


Caerwyn Evans – Volleyball – 16 Regional

Pronounced “Ki-win”, Coach Evans (if that’s easier for you) is a local business owner and highly rated beach volleyball player. Entering into his fourth year at DSVC, Caerwyn has worked with many of the Valley’s finest youth, and as a head coach at Indio High and as an Assistant Coach at Palm Springs High during their DVL title run in 2005.  A native of Australia, Caerwyn brings a fresh and motivating personality to DSVC and will introduce his passion and knowledge of the game to players of all levels. Also in 2010, Caerwyn will help DSVC launch our first Beach Volleyball Club which will participate in SCVA tournaments this summer!  He’ll get you out on the sand along with many of our top coaches to help develop the skills to be successful in the outdoor game as well as indoors!



Tammi Cavender – Volleyball – 15 National/Regional

A third-year DSVC coach and Xavier Prep Varsity coach, Tammi will return to DSVC after leading her Xavier team into the CIF playoffs this year. Tammi has played for some of the finest So Cal volleyball clubs, and took her skills to Cypress College where she holds the single season blocking record and went on to earn her degree at UCLA where she continued to advance her volleyball training on the practice squad. After college, Tammi honed her coaching skills both at the high school and club levels in Orange County. Tammi moved to the desert in 2007 and is a high school teacher in the Desert Sands Unified School District.



Gary Barton - Volleyball

One of the finest coaches and mentors in the valley, Gary Barton has more than 15 years of club and high school coaching to his credit. Gary took over the Varsity position at DVL powerhouse La Quinta High School two years ago, and led his team to the CIF championships in 2007. Entering his eigth year with DSVC and after 11th years as a high school coach at La Quinta, Gary continues to be a player and fan favorite thanks to the love and passion for the game and the players he produces.  A fine player in his own right and a product of many years of volleyball experience in Santa Cruz we welcome back Gary as a coach and ambassador.



Ashley Walker – Volleyball 


Ashley is a alumni for DSVC, An exceptional front row blocker as a player, Ashley will bring her love for the game back to the courts at the Desert Sports Center.  A 17/18 National player, Ashley’s strong work ethic makes her an excellent role model for our young athletes. A Palm Desert High graduate, Ashley played multiple sports all four years. This will be Ashley's third year coaching at DSVC. She will also be entering her second year at Shadow Hills High School as the Junior Varsity coach.

Dana Graham – Volleyball – 14 Black/15 Black

Coach Graham is completing his first season as Head Coach at Desert Chrisitan Academy where he has lead the Conquerors back to the CIF championship in 2011.  Prior to that he was with Palm Desert High School and enters his third season with DSVC this fall.  His love and passion for the game are evident in the smile that breaks out whenever talking about volleyball technique and skills, and he enjoys competing in USAV and CBVA competition on the beaches of Southern California during as much of the year as possible.

More Bio's to come!!!

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