By Maurice Patton
After playing for and coaching with Christy Thrasher and Kari Robinson, Reba Holmes hopes to put the lessons from her mentors to good use.
Holmes, a 2011 Columbia Academy graduate, will serve as high school volleyball coach this season following Robinson’s recent resignation.
“I’m praying it’s a smooth transition,” said Holmes, a Middle Tennessee State alumnus who has coached the Lady Bulldogs’ middle school program for the past three years and served as a high school assistant for seven seasons on a nonfaculty basis.
“(Thrasher and Robinson) were excellent role models. They taught me so much from the time I played to now. I’m excited about the opportunity and ready for the challenge.”
In three seasons at the CA helm, Robinson led the team to consecutive Class A state sectional appearances – the first in program history – in 2017 and ’18. In 2019, the Lady Bulldogs’ first year of Division II competition, their season ended with an opening-round district tournament loss.
A 10-year assistant under Thrasher prior to taking over the CA program, Robinson offered no specifics regarding her resignation.
“There’s really never a good time to have to hire a coach,” Columbia Academy athletics director Pernell Knox said. “Being this late, to have somebody that knows the game and is already in the program, it makes it easier.
“Reba knows a lot of these girls, so her moving from middle school to high school will be good for all involved.”
Meanwhile, the status of the CA middle school program is undetermined with the coaching change.
“I love my middle school girls, but I’m not going to be able to coach both,” Holmes said. “I’m not sure how it’s all going to play out. It’s unfortunate timing.”
With the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association-mandated dead period continuing through the weekend, Holmes has yet to speak to her team.
“I know we’re starting (practice) July 6,” she said. “Kari left me a lot of good information. I’m just jumping in where she left off. I’m really thankful for her.”
Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mopatton_sports.