Loving what she does

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 16, 2014

0516 spt-Bridgett Brantley coaches copy

Bridgett Brantley takes reigns as volleyball coach at OHS

Volleyball is what Bridgett Brantley loves to do.

It didn’t take long for the new Opp volleyball coach to get busy as Brantley met with the girls last Friday, and got started with tryouts on Monday. She was busy Thursday afternoon watching girls tryout for the Lady Bobcats’ junior varsity and varsity teams in the high school gym.

What appealed Brantley to Opp was the opportunity to branch out and be a head coach after learning so much from her aunt and current Enterprise coach Janie Wiggins.

“I was content on being her assistant coach forever because we were very good together,” Brantley said. “We’ve had very successful teams passing on through her. I think it was just time to step out on my own. This opened up. (Opp) needed a math teacher, and they needed a volleyball coach, so that was perfect.

“God opens doors sometimes,” she said.

Brantley was an assistant coach at EHS for two years, and spent six years prior at Kinston under Wiggins. She coached junior high and JV at KHS, and then the JV and helped with the varsity squad at EHS.

Prior to coaching, Brantley graduated from KHS in 2004. She then played volleyball at Bevill State Community College in Fayette for two years before transferring to Troy University, where she served as a manager for the Lady Trojans’ softball team.

“They called me the head of operations,” Brantley quipped. “When I finished out there in Troy, I started working at Kinston (as an assistant coach) right after that.”

What helped Brantley land a job at KHS was working part time while a student at Troy.

The one thing she loves about coaching is the opportunity to be a role model for her players, Brantley said.

“I love volleyball,” she said. “That’s my passion for sure. I really enjoy being able to be a part of their lives — kind of make a difference and make them share my passion for volleyball. You never know which kids need you. They may need something in their life, and volleyball can be that.”

While watching her future players tryout, one couldn’t help but notice the excitement in Brantley’s eyes as she gears up for the fall.

“I have always heard great things about he girls here at Opp, and the guys too,” she said. “I’ve only heard good things about their attitude and their work ethic. They work hard.

“I’ve been very impressed with what they know already from (former OHS volleyball) coach (Christie) Spurlin. It’s going to be a building year because I lost so many seniors, but these girls look good already. So, I’m excited.”

Brantley is married to Shawn, and the couple has two children, 4-year-old Brody, and 1-and-a-half-year-old Lexi.