After leading Bishop Lynch to its first TAPPS state title in women’s soccer since 1990, Lady Friars coach Darrin Hedges was named Class 5A Coach of the Year by TAPPS on Tuesday, the second straight year a BLHS coach received the award.
Hedges led the Lady Friars to a 25-2-1 record in 2015 the 5A state title, snapping a streak of 24 consecutive state titles won by Ursuline Academy.
“Winning TAPPS Coach of the Year is very exciting but I do have to say that the kids in our soccer program are the reason I won this award,” Hedges said. “There are other great coaches at Bishop Lynch and in TAPPS, so I’m very honored and proud to win the award. I need to also thank Michael Moritz and J.J. Gross for their tireless work and dedication to our teams.”
In his fifth year at Bishop Lynch, Hedges led the Lady Friars to the pinnacle, avenging not only two regular season losses to Ursuline Academy, but a shootout loss to the perennial powerhouse in the 2014 state title.
In the two regular season contests, the Lady Friars scored an early goal to take the lead but ended up losing both matches by a 2-1 score. In this year’s state title game, Bishop Lynch scored twice before Ursuline found the net and came away with the 2-1 victory.
“Last year’s loss in penalty kicks was a very tough loss but the team used that experience as motivation to win it all this year,” Hedges said. “All of the kids on our varsity team bought into the program and truly believed we were one of the best teams in the nation.”
The 2015 state title was the fifth overall for the Lady Friars, who finished the season ranked fourth nationally by Top Draw Soccer and 10th by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Longtime friend and fellow BL soccer coach Mark Melancon praised Hedges’ work ethic and relationship with his players.
“He has such a great rapport with his teams,” Melancon said. “He knows the game very well and can convey his knowledge to his players.”
Bishop Lynch volleyball coach Tricia Roos won the Class 5A Coach of the Year honor in 2014.