ARLINGTON -- Retired Arlington Martin volleyball coach Joni McCoy's induction into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame turned into quite the homecoming Wednesday afternoon.
"Well, it's a great honor, but the neatest thing is all of the people I've seen," McCoy said shortly before the TGCA Honor Awards Luncheon at the Arlington Hilton Hotel. "Some of the people who showed up I haven't seen in awhile, and they really surprised me."
McCoy, who now resides in Salida, Colo., spent her entire 29-year coaching career at Arlington ISD, beginning in 1976 with a six-year stint as an assistant at Arlington High.
When Martin opened in 1982, she became the first head volleyball coach and quickly built a powerhouse. In her 23 seasons at the helm, the Lady Warriors qualified for the playoffs 19 times, won a state title in 1996 and made three additional state tournament appearances.
McCoy rarely makes it back to the DFW area since retiring in 2004 with 677 career victories.
Katie Grieve, daughter of former MLB player, former Texas Rangers general manager and current Rangers TV broadcast analyst Tom Grieve, was an all-state performer for McCoy in 1995 and hadn't seen her former coach in nearly a decade.
Grieve remarked Wednesday that McCoy's legacy extends well beyond wins and losses at Martin and that her favorite memories of McCoy were all off the court.
"The morning after my father was fired as general manager of the Rangers, which was a hard time being in high school and it being on the front page of the papers, she was sitting in front of the door of my first class waiting for me," Grieve said. "I just knew from the look in her eyes that she knew I needed some support. She's a great person."
UIL assistant athletic director Traci Neely attended the luncheon in an official capacity but jumped out of her seat and scampered across the banquet floor to greet McCoy upon recognizing her former Martin colleague.
"My first coaching job right out of college was at Arlington Martin in 1987, and the first coach I met there was coach McCoy," Neely said. "I was the head cross country and track coach and an assistant basketball coach, and we shared an office. My first three years there, I was all over the place, and without her and some other people's support, I would have quit.
"People like her are the glue of the coaching community."
Lynn Davis Pool of the Austin school district and McMurry University track coach Barbara Crousen also were inducted into the TAGC Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Southlake Carroll cross country coach Justin Leonard, Mansfield Summit basketball coach Tammy Lusinger and Brock basketball coach Chance Westmoreland were recognized by TGCA during Wednesday's luncheon and presented with state championship rings provided by Josten's.
Leonard and Westmoreland each claimed their first state title in their respective sports last season while Lusinger won her second crown in four years.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760