Maryland volleyball head coach Adam Hughes, was always hopeful for the opportunity to become a head coach. Last offseason with Steve Aird’s departure to Indiana, Hughes was granted the opportunity he had patiently waited for.
Despite his new role, and losing six players due to transfer the transition was not very difficult for Hughes. Even though there isn’t really a way to prepare for becoming a head coach, Hughes did the only thing he could, using his experience as an assistant. With the new role as head coach, there were expanded responsibilities compared to his time as an assistant, as well as a larger potential for impact.
“When I got promoted, I was able to try a little bit more and have a bigger scope of what I could make an impact on,” Hughes said. “I think that’s the way you should look at it in coaching, it shouldn’t be about what’s next, it should be about what you could learn and what you could gain.”
Before the promotion to head coach, he had recruited many of the players forming relationships with them as well as knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
“I think it goes back to relationships, I met a lot of them during the recruiting process that really helps,” Hughes said. “It comes down to a way of maintaining those relationships to keep developing them.”
Developing relationships with him before the promotion, everyone on the roster couldn’t be happier with Hughes’ promotion from assistant to head coach. As soon as Aird’s departure was announced, everyone knew who they wanted the next head coach to be.
“We all really advocated for [Hughes],” senior outside hitter Liz Twilley said. “We knew as soon as we heard about the coaching change, we all wanted [the new coach] to be Hughes right away.”
For the players, it was nice to have a coach that they were familiar with and would put them in the best positions to succeed. Hughes knew them as athletes, but people as well.
“It definitely was nice to know we had a coach that knew us both on a personal and playing level,” Twilley said.
“He recruited us too, we’ve known him for years,” sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard said.
Throughout his first season as head coach with a young roster, Hughes has consistently preached the idea of belief to the team.
“[Hughes] let’s us know whether it’s life or volleyball, believing in yourself believing in your goal what you’re working towards is really important,” Twilley said.
Now that his first season is more than halfway done, Hughes can take the time to reflect on the team’s performance thus far and what they need to continue building on moving forward.
“I think we continue to get better defensively, we’re playing against some of the best teams in the country,” Hughes said. “I think we’re still trying to get a little better in the serve and pass game, but we’re young and the future is pretty bright.”
Hughes and the Terps will look to return home and begin their three-game home stand with a win against Iowa at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.