MARION — The time, Teresa Bair said, has come to be called “Grandma” instead of “Coach.”
A winner of more than 900 matches as a high school and college volleyball coach in Iowa, Bair submitted her resignation at Linn-Mar High School on Monday.
She told her team the news at their postseason banquet Monday night.
“It’s tough, very tough,” Bair said. “I love the kids here. The parents are great people.
“It’s one of those things, you realize how much you’ve been missing out on as a family for all of these years. I was pregnant with (my son) Adam in my first season, and now he’s 35.”
Bair, 60, posted a 192-84 mark in seven seasons at Linn-Mar. Three of her teams there reached the state tournament, including Class 5A semifinal runs in 2017 and 2018.
“I remember my first year here (2013), the kids were excited when they reached the championship bracket of a Saturday tournament,” Bair said. “I couldn’t believe it. That should have been the expectation.”
This year’s team was 18-18.
“I would have loved for my daughter to have played for Teresa,” Linn-Mar Associate Athletics Director Tonya Moe said in announcing Bair’s decision. “You can find coaches that know the game. But it’s hard to find someone who communicates as well as Teresa, and cares for her players as much as her.”
Bair has loved her players, and sometimes it was tough love.
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“You have to hold them accountable,” she said. “Sometimes, it hurts their feelings.”
A Cedar Rapids native, Bair graduated as Teresa Langguth from Jefferson High School in 1977. Upon her graduation from the University of Northern Iowa in 1981, she literally built the Tripoli program from scratch. As Teresa Kehe, she built it into a powerhouse, leading the Panthers to six Class 1A state championships in 23 seasons. Her teams reached the state finals eight straight years between 1998 and 2005.
She left in 2005 for Loras College, where she compiled a seven-year mark of 132-112 with two Iowa Conference championships and an NCAA Division-III tournament bid in 2008, its first in school history.
Her final numbers are 771-223 years in 30 years in the high-school ranks, 903-335 in 37 seasons overall.
Bair is undecided whether she will retire as a physical-education teacher yet.
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