The Sacramento-area high school volleyball coaching fraternity is tight, and when one coach goes down, peers respond.
Ron Grove, in his 28th season at Roseville, collapsed Friday night while working his school's football game as the public-address announcer. Grove's pacemaker failed, and he lay on the floor motionless, momentarily not breathing and without a pulse.
Two off-duty first responders climbed through the press-box window to resuscitate Grove before paramedics took over.
Grove, 55, underwent surgery Saturday at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. On Sunday, the social science instructor had several visitors, including fellow teachers. Some visitors posed as family members to gain closer access. The patient was expected to be released today.
Late Friday, Grove was in good-enough spirits to joke that passing out while Rio Linda was attempting a game-winning field goal was a new way to ice the kicker. The game was stopped for about 15 minutes, and when it resumed, the kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown as time ran out for a 22-14 Roseville victory, prompting Grove to text later from his hospital room, "Hey, it worked!"
Rocklin coach Dave Muscarella, a longtime friend, heard about Grove within minutes of the incident via texts and frantic calls and forwarded updates to other coaches.
"My initial reaction was shock," Muscarella said. "Then after I thought about it, there wasn't a better place to be (than at a football game with paramedics on hand)."
Grove's players were in the Roseville stands Friday when he was placed into the back of an ambulance.
With Grove resting Saturday, the Tigers' volleyball team, ranked No. 10 by The Bee, played on. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the Christine Craft Memorial Tournament under assistant coaches Cindy Simon and Darcee Durham.
Grove's coaching rivals expect to see him back on the sideline soon.
"He's so positive with the girls," Vista del Lago coach Wayne Campbell said. "It's good to see that he is getting better. He is such a solid individual and coach."
Said El Camino assistant coach Curtis Gee, another good friend: "Ron is the dean of the volleyball coaches and a friend to all. He's known for his friendly, outgoing personality and deep desire to give his players a good experience. Every coach in the area is pulling for his full recovery."
Rocklin rollin' The Thunder moved up three spots to No. 2 in The Bee rankings after a thrilling comeback victory against No. 3 El Camino on Thursday and the championship in the Craft Memorial on Saturday at Vista del Lago.
Down 2-0, Rocklin came back to beat El Camino 15-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16, 15-6.
Led by sophomore Maddie Haynes and seniors Jolie Meade, Bethany Mandon and Kate Mitchell, Rocklin is off to a 10-0 start.
The Thunder defeated No. 5 Christian Brothers 25-18, 25-19 in the Craft Memorial final.