Long before Braswell opened its doors in August 2016, Allison Irvin was hard at work.
The newly hired volleyball coach had plenty to accomplish before the Lady Bengals’ first season, from ordering equipment to finding assistant coaches. It took Irvin seven months from the time she was hired in January 2016, but eventually the program was ready.
Now, almost three years to the date Braswell debuted, Irvin is saying goodbye to the team she helped get off the ground.
Irvin and her family are headed back to East Texas, where her husband recently accepted an offensive coordinator position with Tyler Chapel Hill’s football team.
“It’s hard to walk away from Braswell,” Irvin said in a phone interview Thursday. “This decision is what’s best for our family and we’re excited about it, but it was just completely unexpected timing. I think that’s what made this so emotional and tough.”
In three seasons under Irvin, Braswell went 56-61. The Lady Bengals posted a 19-23 mark last year, including a 5-7 record in District 8-5A to finish third.
Braswell qualified for the playoffs for the first time last season, falling to Grapevine in the bi-district round. Irvin said she believes this year’s team will be one of the most talented rosters the Lady Bengals have had.
“We lost six seniors, but there are eight returners,” Irvin said. “A lot of them are starters and played. We have some new additions that will probably be on varsity. It probably would have been the most athletic team I’ve ever coached.”
Irvin was the coach at Sulphur Springs from 2013-16. Irvin has family in East Texas and is familiar with the area, but she said leaving Braswell was not an easy decision.
“The opportunity to open up a high school and begin an athletic program is irreplaceable,” Irvin said. “It’s been an amazing adventure. I can’t thank coach [Cody] Moore and [Denton ISD athletic director] Joey Florence enough for that. To see something start from scratch and be able to grow your own culture and volleyball program is phenomenal. It’s something I’ll never forget.”