Trinity volleyball and Adam Huff all but go hand-in-hand. There are very few moments in the two decades of program history that can’t be tied to Huff, but he’s decided to move on from his head coaching position.
The high school started the program in 1998 as a junior varsity team, one of only two years without Huff’s name attached. He came on as an assistant in 1999, and took over as head coach the next season.
The only other year he wasn’t involved came in 2015, the first time he tried to retire. He decided he wasn’t ready to stay away for good, so he returned to coach two more seasons before handing the reins off to someone else.
He didn’t originally know he would have such a long tenure.
“At that time, I was in my mid-20s, and we played a lot of volleyball as adults in the area — coed tournaments and leagues — and that sparked the interest in coaching for me,” Huff said. “Since it was just starting the girls really had to learn every aspect of the game and I went to a few practices to help some of my cousins that were playing at Trinity and before you know it is 20 years later and here we are talking about the last 20 years.”
It was a small first step for Huff, but he’s turned it into a dominant stretch of success for the Lady Raiders. The program has a total of 365 wins in the 20 years, and Huff is responsible for 342 of them.
Trinity has earned 10 total District 12 championships, five district runner-up finishes and five All “A” Region 3 championships.
Huff said the team has been able to celebrate so much success because he helped grow the program beyond the high school level.
“We got all of the feeder schools involved by playing at early ages,” Huff said. “We started an elementary league around 2007 that started kids playing in the third grade, and that continues today. I believe that helped more than anything to establish fundamentals and love of the game instead of only starting their freshman year.”
It took a couple years to get to the top of the district, but winning the first tournament in 2002 ranks at the top of Huff’s favorite moments.
“I’d like to say that was a great memory, but I still had the same satisfaction and was just as happy for this year’s team that won the program’s 10th district championship,” Huff said. “All of the memories and friendships that have been made are some of the most things I am thankful for during my coaching career.”
Huff said he’s somewhat surprised a small school like Trinity has been able to keep up with some of the traditional powerhouses in the area because they don’t have the same luxury of year-round play.
“Trinity is a lot different than any other school in the region with the size and the fact that most athletes play every sport there is,” he said. “There is not the option to play the travel ball/club season as in other schools. For us to be as competitive as we are is a true testament to our program and the kids that have played over the years.”
One of the most notable wins came in 2013, when Trinity made it to the All “A” State tournament Final Four. The Lady Raiders beat a Lexington Christian Academy team that had two Division 1 recruits.
Huff said there are countless memories that will stay with him forever, and he doesn’t have any regrets as he plans to step away.
He said being there 20 years is reason enough to retire, but spending time with his family is the real driving factor.
“I have kids playing sports in middle school and high school,” he said. “I want to dedicate myself to doing those things instead of spending my time in the gym.”
Huff said it is bittersweet to be leaving and it really didn’t sink in until after the regional tournament, but he knows this is the right decision and the right time.
“Trinity has become such a big part of our family,” he said. “Our kids have graduated or are attending the schools — St. Mary’s included — and we have built relationships with friends that will last a lifetime, and this all started because I started coaching 20 years ago. I still plan to help keep the elementary and middle school programs going, and support the school in any way I can, just not as a head coach.”