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Former Lady Lion leading TCA volleyball

Maggie Brooks grew up playing volleyball and is glad to still be involved with the game, but being named the new varsity coach at Trinity Christian is something she said she never expected at this age.

“It wasn’t that long ago that I was playing volleyball at TCA – six years ago,” Brooks said. “So to be here as the head coach now is a full circle moment, and apparently God’s timing because I never would’ve thought I’d be in this position right now.”

Brooks, a 2017 graduate of TCA, played college volleyball at Crowley’s Ridge in Arkansas before moving back to West Tennessee and playing at Bethel University.

She graduated in the spring of 2022, and she joined former TCA coach Kelly Elliott’s staff last year.

“It was really unusual for me to be coaching at that point and not playing,” Brooks said laughing about her first few weeks coaching. “I’d coached before in club ball, but to no longer be a player and no longer being able to be out there to make the adjustments that we were trying to talk to the girls about was an eye-opening experience.”

Elliott, who coached TCA for a few years last decade, returned last year as an interim coach for the program.

“She asked me in the spring if I’d be interested in filling the role, and I said absolutely,” Brooks said.

The transition has gone well since the announcement was officially made by the school just before the TSSAA dead period began in June.

She said she was already familiar with all of the players on the team from being an assistant coach last year, so stepping into the role of leadership running the program has been a smooth one so far.

“The girls are working hard and doing what we’re asking them to do,” Brooks said. “Which probably feels like a lot at times, but I want them to be used to working hard to win, because that’s what it takes to get to the level we all want TCA volleyball to get to.”

A few things have changed about TCA volleyball in the past six years. The biggest thing Brooks said she’s getting used to is Division II competition.

When she was in high school, TCA still competed in Division I, so the Lady Lions compete with Jackson Christian, University School of Jackson, Sacred Heart of Jesus and a number of private schools in and close to Shelby County to try to get past the district tournament.

“That’s definitely a big change because there are some really good teams in Division II in Memphis,” Brooks said. “We played against some good Division I teams here, but most of our opponents being in Memphis will be the biggest change.”

And Brooks said everyone in the program has already dealt with another proverbial elephant in the room.

“I’m only six years older than the seniors on this team, and that’s got to be different for them – maybe even weird,” Brooks said. “So we went ahead and talked about it, and I think we’re all more used to it than we were a month ago.

“The good thing about that is it really wasn’t that long ago I was in their role, so I can remember what it was like to be in their shoes. And once we had that conversation, I think that helped this transition go smooth.”

The Lady Lions and all TSSAA volleyball teams will begin play the week of Aug. 14.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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