Biggs

John and Courtney Biggs stand in the home team dugout on the Daviess County High School softball field Friday.

John and Courtney Biggs have a very special father-daughter relationship that has transcended from the dinner table to the softball field at Daviess County High School.

John, the Lady Panthers’ head coach, has transformed the program into one of the best in western Kentucky, and Courtney — a former four-year starter in center field for DCHS — has played a significant role, as well.

John coaches third base, Courtney coaches first — for the No. 5 high school softball team in Kentucky.

“My dad really is my best friend,” said Courtney, who graduated from Daviess County in 2009 and is in her eighth year as an assistant coach. “The relationship we’ve had has been amazing on and off the field.

“Even coaching, we don’t argue at all. If we disagree on something, we talk things out.

“There’s just this special connection. He coaches third, I coach first, and it’s like we can read each other’s mind, know what the other is thinking — it’s uncanny at times.”

John concurs.

“It really started a long time ago,” he said. “I coached Courtney in T-Ball, I coached her in travel ball, and then on into her high school career. Over time, we’ve really built a unique relationship.

“Some father-daughter relationships in athletics can be toxic, but it’s just never been that way with us. And, it’s just become a family bond with softball. My wife, Teresa, is right in the middle of it, is here for every game. It’s become something special for all of us.”

Courtney cites her formative years, playing for John’s always-strong Kentucky Thoroughbreds travel team, as a significant period.

“That’s when I first understood that softball could, and should, be both fun and competitive — because that was dad’s coaching philosophy,” Courtney said. “I consider myself to be very fortunate for having those travel ball experiences, and that’s when softball first manifested the bond he and I have today.”

John, too, looks back fondly on those travel ball days.

“Great times, great people, great experiences,” he said. “I think that’s when Courtney and I first realized that we had a lot of the same visions as far as softball is concerned. We had the same beliefs and expectations, and all of that has carried into what we’ve done here at Daviess County.

“Courtney is just a super role model, and she was here during some seasons when the program was struggling, so she won’t let anyone take for granted the things we’ve built over the past several seasons.

“She’s coaching for the right reasons and she provides a lot of positive energy every day. She’s in it for the kids, and she’s made a big impact here.”

The two have also benefitted from a veteran coaching staff, which includes Janet Ferrell, who has been in the program 20 years, Louis Loman, who has been around 19 years, and Mackenzie Skaggs.

“It’s really a great coaching staff,” Courtney said. “We’re really blessed to have this group in the program — we all work well together.

“My dad is so organized. Every day is structured with a plan, and the players respond in a positive way to the consistency with which everything is run.

“One thing he did that was key was start a feeder program, a middle-school team that plays in the fall — that turned it all around. The culture of the program is now elite, and we expect to win every time we step on the field.”

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