Published on May 7th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Chapin High softball coach Jason Jolley enjoying the moments in final season
CHAPIN – 11 years ago, Jason Jolley was working with pitchers for Chapin High’s baseball team when he got a phone call from the athletic director.
“He said ‘Coach I need to see you after practice.’ I was thinking ‘Oh no, what have I done?’,” Jolley laughed.
After the practice, Jolley was asked if he had any interest in leading the girls’ softball program. A former men’s fast pitch player, he knew how the game worked, but needed a few days to think on it.
“Took the weekend to think about it and talk it over with my wife and the baseball coach at the time. We thought it was the right move,” Jolley said.
And that was that. Since 2008, the P.E. teacher at Chapin Middle has been the man behind the success of the Chapin High girls’ softball program.
In an impressive feat, Jolley has been named Region Coach of the Year in all 10 of his seasons.
“It’s not about me. It means that I have had some great teams,” Jolley said. “I try to get them prepared as possible. The consistency has been there. These girls come out here and perform.”
One of them is senior Molly Burns who has played the past five years for Jolley. She says it’s a very emotional time not only because of her time on the field coming to an end, but also the coach she’s learned so much from.
“Coach has been hard on me and I am thankful for that because it has not only helped me in the game of softball, but also in life,” Burns said. “This sport is such a good life lesson. Coach Jolley has been such a great leader and I’m going to miss him and this team so much.”
Jolley will miss it just as much.
“I broke down after practice one night,” Jolley said as he choked up recalling the memory. “I told them ‘I’ve got two little boys at home that I should’ve spent more time with a long time ago, but it’s been so hard to leave you.’ The time is now. I wouldn’t give this program up for anything else other than my family. It’s going to be tough leaving.”
He hopes the run will continue on a bit longer. Chapin faces a must-win scenario against Darlington on Monday night to keep its postseason hopes alive.