Volleyball - Varsity
The Taft volleyball team is regarded as one of the top teams in New England's Class A Division. The team has logged an impressive tournament record, with 15 New England Tournament appearances as quarter-finalists, semi-finalists, and finalists since 2001.
Taft was the first private school to receive the Sportsmanship Award from the Connecticut Officials' Association. The team has been honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) for academic excellence and has received the AVCA Team Academic Award for the past 14 years.
In addition to their dedication to excellence on the court, in the classroom, and across the campus, volleyball players at Taft commit their time and energy to supporting various community service organizations, such as Project Window, a non-profit organization that creates opportunities for girls living in low-income housing. Wearing pink uniforms, players have raised breast cancer awareness, and contributed more than $8,500 to the Dig Pink organization. The team also hosts clinics for Special Olympians in the community throughout the academic year.
About Head Coach Derek Palmore
Derek Palmore joined the Taft community in 2016 following five years on the faculty of Milton Academy (MA). While at Milton, Derek taught English, served as a class dean, and coached girls' varsity volleyball, leading the team to the school's first Independent School League title in the sport in 2014. Derek’s teaching and coaching experience also includes time at his alma mater, Punahou School (HI), at Campbell Hall (CA), and at the Rectory School (CT). Derek attended Boston University, where he earned a degree in English, with a minor in film studies. He was a four-year starter on BU's mens' volleyball team, and was selected to the All-New England team in 2004. After college, he played for the Boston Knights, a nine-man club volleyball team, as well as several A/AA USAV teams. During his career, Derek coached a range of volleyball teams, from middle school to college, and Hawaii to Massachusetts, including the Boston University womens' club volleyball team, guiding the program to a New England Regional Championship and helping them climb the national rankings to as high as the 11th position.