BELLS — Corey Jenkins has made the playoffs in all of his recent stops, so a postseason appearance at Bells wasn’t out of the question.
But the Lady Panthers saw immediate improvement in Jenkins’ first season, tripling their win total and making the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
“They bought in to what I was doing from the start,” Jenkins said. “Once they started winning, they bought in even more.”
Leading this turnaround has led to Jenkins being named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Volleyball Coach of the Year for the 2013 season.
Last year Bells was 8-20 overall and did not win a match in district play. The year before that the Lady Panthers were 1-13 in district. By the second week of district action in 2013, the Lady Panthers had already surged past that total.
Bells finished third in the 11-2A standings, just a win from second place, and closed the season at 24-12 after losing to Gunter in the bi-district round.
“The key to these kids’ success was being open to new ideas,” Jenkins said. “They have a great work ethic. Take risks. They started doing that and it paid off.”
Jenkins’ ability to be flexible helped pay dividends.
“I never feel like I’m an expert. I’m always looking for things,” he said. “I picked up something last week I plan on using next year.”