The area’s longest-tenured prep volleyball coach achieved a major milestone Saturday at the Purples Classic in Bowling Green.
Ben Schell recorded his 100th and 101st victories as the LaRue County Lady Hawks’ coach as they finished fourth in the two-day tournament.
The Lady Hawks beat Fort Campbell, 25-6, 25-11 in their final pool-play match Saturday to give Schell his 100th victory. They advanced to the gold bracket, defeating Owensboro 25-20, 26-24 to earn No. 101 before falling to Bowling Green, 25-11, 25-13.
Schell has averaged at least 20 wins per year during his five-year tenure. He guided the Lady Hawks to at least 20 wins in his first three seasons. Although they went 12-21 last season, they could reach the 20-win plateau again this year. That’s what he’s most proud of.
“It means that I’ve had consistent teams that I’ve had for the five years that I’ve been there,” said Schell, who also served as an assistant coach in 2006 and 2007 and ranks as the program’s winningest coach. “I give more credit to players for my five years than I give credit to myself for winning 100. It was those players that won those 100, 101 now.”
Schell has coached some form of volleyball for the past 11 years. He coached at Lewisburg Middle School at Logan County for five years, then a year of club volleyball at the Mid-South Volleyball Academy in Logan County before coming to LaRue County in 2006.
“I’m extremely proud of Ben earning career win 100. I taught him at North Hardin in the 90’s and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to hire him twice to teach and coach for me,” said LaRue County Principal Paul Mullins. “First, when he graduated from WKU at Lewisburg where he started our volleyball program and went undefeated for almost two years – winning two middle school championships. And second, seven years ago when he applied for a teaching position at LCHS.”
“I’m so proud of his work ethic, the way he carries himself and the way he represents our school,” added Mullins. “He does a great job in the classroom and is a leader in our building. He’s got a very quiet demeanor, but he understands that success happens with hard work, organization and high expectations. He’s one those people who always get the job done and he gets it done with a high level of success.”
LaRue County could reach that 20th win in its final regular-season match. The Lady Hawks have three left, 7 p.m. Tuesday at John Hardin, 7 p.m. Oct. 2 against Elizabethtown and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 against Nelson County.
“I like the kids I get to work with every day. That’s the biggest thing,” Schell said. “There are other opportunities that are always out there. But I’ve been dedicated from 2008 when I was hired as a head coach to now. We haven’t won 20 (matches) every season, but we’ve averaged that many wins. We hope to get 20 this season.”