Kathy Trenary doesn’t feign humility; she honestly sidesteps attention whenever she can. When you’ve had the kind of success she’s had guiding the Mendon varsity volleyball team over the past 19 years, that’s a lot of lateral moves.
Not even the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations — the governing body of all 50 state high school athletic associations — could get Trenary to stop and pat herself on the back when it mailed her a notice that she had been named the 2013 Michigan Volleyball Coach of the Year.
Trenary, who oversaw a Mendon team that finished 48-8-2 this past season after a second straight trip to the state semifinals, assumed the letter was junk mail.
“What is it again?” she asked.
Once it was explained, Trenary was flattered.
“It’s not just me,” she said. “It’s all the really wonderful kids and athletes I’ve had. And from Mendon especially, it’s all the parents and community support that Mendon gives their coaches, which allows them the opportunity to do a good job without interference.
“That’s huge. I don’t know how many other communities have that luxury, but Mendon supports their coaches really well. The athletic directors work really hard, the kids are allowed to perform and get a fair shake, and I get a fair shake to direct them.”
Trenary went on to praise all the assistant coaches with whom she has worked.
“I’ve had some great ones,” she explained. “There’s a lot that goes into it.”
Trenary, with a career record of 721-298-115 at Mendon, has earned that respect. Just ask the young ladies that spend the most time around “Coach T”.
“She is so energetic and full of life,” senior middle hitter Brooke Howard said. “She knew when it was time to get down to business and focus on upcoming games but [also] when to have fun and create memories as a team. She made our team like a close-knit family and showed us the important lessons in volleyball.
“Words cannot describe how much of an impact she has made on my life. I’m not the only one on the team who will forever remember Coach T.”
Howard is certainly right about that.
“Playing for Coach T is so much fun,” sophomore outside hitter Jordan VanOss said. “During tough practices or matches, she always knows what to say and how to help us calm down or laugh.”
Another outgoing senior, middle hitter Alexis Russell, underscored Trenary’s tactical prowess.
“She also wasn’t afraid to change things up on both the defensive and offensive sides of the game,” she said. “With lots of years of coaching under her belt, it made changing things up quick and easy.”
A lot easier than being in the limelight.
“I happen to be the one that gets the award, but there are certainly a lot of other people involved,” Trenary said.