Molly Mackey followed her first love, softball, to the college ranks, but another one of her passions, volleyball, was never far from her mind.
The Overton High School graduate will now have a chance to pursue both after accepting the head softball and head volleyball coaching jobs at Union Grove High School.
Mackey spent the last three seasons as head softball coach and assistant volleyball coach at Sabine High School.
“Leaving Sabine was a difficult decision. I love the people and the athletes there, but when God tells you it’s time for something new, you have to listen,” said Mackey. “Union Grove gave me a call, and it just felt natural, felt like home from day one. They just made me feel extremely welcome from our first conversation. It was a no-brainer.”
Mackey said the opportunity to be a head coach in volleyball was also a factor.
“Volleyball has always been a passion of mine, from playing in high school and in club ball,” she said. “Softball was my first love and what I chose to do in college, but one of the reasons I love high school so much has been the chance to also be around volleyball. The passion and love for volleyball never stopped. I’m still learning. (Sabine) coach (Kristen) Reaves really opened my eyes and helped me so much, and I appreciate her patience.”
Mackey signed to play softball at Angelina College in Lufkin after graduating from Overton. She played one season for the Lady Roadrunners, and then moved back closer to home to be part of Kilgore College’s first softball program.
From Kilgore, she transferred to then University of Louisiana-Monroe to finish her playing career.
After serving as an assistant softball coach at LeTourneau University and Galveston College, she was hired to be the head softball coach and assistant volleyball coach at Sabine.
The Lady Cardinals finished 39-7 in volleyball, reaching the area round of the Class 3A playoffs. The Sabine softball team was 9-11 when the season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Union Grove lost in the opening round of the playoffs in volleyball to Timpson, and the softball team was 6-10-2 when the season was stopped.
“Everything I’ve heard about Union Grove is they have the best kids, parents, kids, administration and coaching staffs. I’m excited to be the head volleyball and head softball coach there.”
Jack Stallard is sports editor of the Longview News-Journal.