John Biggs has been a coach for most of his life. He began coaching youth baseball as a senior in high school and then, after graduating from Western Kentucky University, he taught and coached four sports at John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Riviera Beach, Fla.
When he moved back to Owensboro, he began teaching at South Spencer Middle School in Rockport, Ind. and had the opportunity to coach basketball and softball before becoming a girls softball coach at Daviess County High School.
The reason for the move to DCHS over 14 years ago was an important one — his daughter Courtney began playing for the high school girls’ softball team when she was in eighth grade.
Courtney played for her dad for four of those years while he was an assistant coach and one as head coach. The coach-player relationship was not new for them because John had coached Courtney through t-ball and travel softball since she was 7 years old.
When Courtney graduated from DCHS in 2009 and then from WKU with a degree in sports management, she was led back to the fields at DC alongside her dad, volunteering her time until she was 21 and able to legally coach.
“I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else,” Courtney said. “I have always loved DC, supported the school and teams, played for them…it’s just kind of obvious how I ended up coaching here with Dad.”
Once Courtney joined her dad on the DCHS softball field, the passion of both created a program that few teams can rival, which includes the faculty, students and alumni that show great pride for the school, John said.
“The biggest thing that makes this work is that we share the same vision and values,” John said. “We want the girls to grow as softball players, but more importantly as young ladies. This is about much more than softball.”
Both John and Courtney agree that their mutual respect for each other both on and off the field is what allows them to not see an end to their positions.
“It really hasn’t changed our relationship other than to make us closer,” Courtney said. “My dad has always been my best friend.”
Courtney said that growing up, summers were always spent with her dad because, as a teacher, he had summers off, which meant she did not have a summer babysitter, something she said allowed them to be close.
John said that other coaches and parents have asked if it was hard coaching his daughter when she played for him and not once, he said, did they take disagreements on the field.
“I just always had the philosophy that I would not say something to Courtney that I would not say to another player,” John said. “And it is still that way. We don’t argue.”
John said that coaching DC girls’ softball with Courtney helps keep him on task. He has a tendency to put things off and she will remind him of things he needs to do. She also has a true passion for the game, John said.
“She understands where the program was when she played and where it is now,” John said. “She is determined to see it grow.”
He said Courtney is constantly searching for new ideas, drills and strategies that can be incorporated into their practices and the program and includes fun and motivational activities to do with the team.
“Courtney is such an awesome role model,” John said. “Not only as a former player and current coach, but also as a person and how she treats people. I also think the players realize the many sacrifices she has made to help them and the program.”
John believes that the level of professionalism that he and Courtney share translates onto the field as well.
“It’s funny because we will start working with many of the girls at a young age and a few years later, after joining the team, some will say they didn’t know Courtney was my daughter,” John said.
The two share a passion for sports and the beach and often spend their time off from softball watching sporting events and attending them.
John isn’t sure how many years he will continue to coach, especially after he retires from teaching.
“I always say I am on a year-to-year contract because, it seems, there is always another group I want to see through,” John said.
Courtney, who works full-time at Peacocks and Pearls and loves retail and the local element of the business said that she doesn’t know what the future holds, either.
“But I will keep coaching as long as he is coaching,” she said.