|Mon, Dec 09, 2013 01:08 PM
|Issue of November 27, 2013
September 18, 2013 | 10:04 AM
Thirty-five years into a career, Corydon Central's Kim Briscoe coached a thrilling 999th game, then a championship effort for No. 1,000 on Saturday.
At the Corydon Central Invitational, Briscoe's Lady Panthers volleyball team fought to the end to defeat rival North Harrison in a thrilling three-game affair, followed by a two-game sweep of Tell City.
Prior to the opening serve of the Tell City match, Briscoe was recognized for coaching what would be her 1,000th varsity contest (between volleyball and softball) while at Corydon Central High School.
"It took me a long time to find a home as a head coach," Briscoe said after her team defeated Tell City. "For the most part, I've had supportive people, although sometimes they don't know if they want to support me or not with my assertive style of coaching. But you know what? It has paid off over the years."
Briscoe is currently in her 19th season as the head coach of the Lady Panthers volleyball program, coaching 590 matches thus far. In 2009, Briscoe was inducted into the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Volleyball Hall of Fame. Through the years, the Lady Panthers have won sectional titles, in 1998 and 2007, while also earning a Mid-Southern Conference championship in 2001. Briscoe has been named the MSC Coach of the Year on two occasions in volleyball.
"My daughter (and assistant coach Elaine Weaver) and I were sitting over there talking and said, 'If you coached 1,000 games as a varsity coach at Corydon, how many games do you really think you've coached with all the Little League softball, the travel leagues, the 13 years at Floyd Central coaching three sports all year round?' I said, 'Elaine, I can't fathom what that number would be'," Briscoe said.
Hitting the 1K mark ended special too, with a victory in the home tournament.
"It's a really great day," Briscoe said. "We argued with when No. 1,000 was, and I thought it was Tuesday (Sept. 18) night."
Members of the current volleyball team presented their coach with a collage of pictures taken throughout her career, bringing back memories of former players and championships won in volleyball and softball.
"If any of you know Coach Briscoe very well, you know that she would give all of the accolades to the players and coaches that have been part of the programs over the years," Weaver said to the crowd.
Several former players were on hand with Briscoe making the comment, "Look at all the babies," in regard to the children of her past athletes.
On the softball diamond, Briscoe has coached 16 seasons (410 games). The program had a run of sectional titles in the 2000s, earning trophies in 2001 and from 2007 to 2010. She's been named MSC Coach of the Year three times while winning the league crown from 2008 to 2011.
Losing isn't common with Briscoe-coached teams. She's had six in volleyball and three in softball in 35 combined seasons.
"I have an Indiana Girls Coaches Association 30-year award sitting in my office, so I think this is year 35 overall in coaching," Briscoe said. "That's a long time, but it's been a blast. I'm not sure when I'm going to get out because I'm still having a blast."
Briscoe said the focus for her has always been the student-athletes.
"There has never been a focus on me and my career; the focus has been on watching young people grow," she said. "This is the most fascinating place to be on Earth, working with young kids every day. Some days I think I like the classroom better than I like the gymnasium because it's about teaching."
"You might say the most kindest thing to a kid and they may have not heard something kind in over a week and that encourages them. What I know is if you treat them with respect, they will return it," Briscoe said.