By Kendall Patterson
After coaching volleyball for 15 years at Chester County High School, with a record of 328 wins and 174 losses, Susan Humpry announced on November 1 that it was time for her to leave her coaching career behind and move on to the next phase of her life.
She departs with a record of 328-174 with three state tournaments, one regional championship and numerous district championships
“Sometimes you just feel a shift in life, and that is where I’m at in mine,” she said. “If you demand the best from yourself in coaching then it is very demanding and time-consuming, and at this point, I just felt like it was time to lay my high school coaching hat down.”
Another factor in making her decision to leave is to watch her daughter, Allie Humphry, play volleyball at Freed-Hardeman University during her senior year.
“My youngest daughter, Allie, will be a senior on the FHU volleyball team next year and I want to see her play as much as possible,” she said.
Humphry explained the decision was not easy though.
I love the girls on my current team so much, and that made this decision a tough one.
For Humphry, though winning felt great, the relationships with players and their parents were even more rewarding.
“I have definitely had some successful seasons while coaching volleyball here at the high school, but more important that has been the relationships that I’ve made with players and many parents,” she said. “You do have to understand in coaching that not everyone will like you or be pleased with you, but the positives greatly outweigh the negatives if you work on loving and understanding your players. Coaching volleyball at Chester County has been one of the greatest blessings I could have ever experienced. My goal in life was not to become a coach, but when this opportunity presented itself 15 years ago, I felt like God was pushing me in that direction. I have been so thankful that I pursued this job because it’s been nothing short of amazing. The players that I’ve had the privilege to coach have stamped my life forever.”
The love of her players and their parents combined with the love of the game extended also to other coaches and rival teams.
“What I enjoyed the most was just how much fun it was. The relationships that were built is the greatest privilege, not only with my players, managers, and parents, but also the relationships with other coaches. Even though it was always exciting to win a big game after an emotional battle with a rival, I also have gained friendships with many of those coaches who I have a great deal of respect for,” Humphry said. “Some of my greatest memories were the heated battles between us and Southside (Tommy Dean as the coach there) and Lexington (Brad Barger). Of course the wins are more satisfying (than the losses), but I came to appreciate the high energy and emotionality that came with these matches.”
As she exited the doors of her coaching career, she was awarded the A.F. Bridges Sportsmanship Award for the 2020-2021 Female Coach of the Year from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association which makes it the second time she has won the honor in her coaching career.
“I feel quite humbled and honored for receiving the A.F. Bridges Sportsmanship Award for the 2020-2021 Female Coach of the Year,” she said. “I have been honored to receive this award twice in my 15 year career; the other one was approximately 10 years ago. Anytime, I am recognized for achievements with my coaching, I feel very blessed and honored. It is kinda neat to have received this award right here as I go out.”