BRIGHTON — The Okeechobee High School (OHS) softball team has a new head coach with a resume to mold champions. Mary Huff, of Brighton, served as the junior varsity coach last season and was recently promoted to head coach for the Brahmans’ varsity team.
The journey to becoming head coach started when Huff was a student at OHS, playing for the Brahmans softball team, where she earned letters for all four years at the varsity level. She was a member of the team that made it to states in 2007; the team also won several district titles. She was named Most Valuable Player.
After graduating in 2008, Huff attended St. Petersburg College earning all-state and all-conference accolades. She then enrolled at Indian River State College where she played for the Lady Pioneers as second baseman and pitcher and completed her associate’s degree in general studies. Huff enrolled at the University of Central Florida and planned to play for the Knights until her softball career was curtailed by a torn ACL. However, she completed her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies; health, social and behavioral sciences, and coaching.
As a softball lover and an OHS graduate, Huff hoped to one day coach for the Brahmans.
“I knew since I graduated that this is what I wanted,” she said. “I wanted to come back to Okeechobee High School and coach there because it seemed like an awesome thing at the time.”
Huff coached one year each for NAYO, the Brahman’s junior varsity team, the Chobee Firestix traveling team and the Chobee Athletic Academy traveling team. With different levels of experience as a player and a coach, Huff knows what it takes to have a successful team. Most importantly, she wants to teach the Lady Brahmans to have a good work ethic and apply what they learn on the field to life in general.
“I played high school and at college levels, including division one,” Huff said. “I know what it takes (to compete). I will ask a lot of them. I want to get the student athlete aspect back into it. I would like them to be better people and students, and of course, I would like to win.”
Huff said she thinks her age is an advantage. She’s 23.
“I feel the girls look at me as an older sister and we understand each other. I’m excited; I think I have a lot to offer,” she said.
She also admits that nothing comes easy but, “If they do the little things right, winning will come.”
Huff credits her success throughout her softball journey to the support she receives from the Okeechobee and Brighton communities, family, friends and OHS.