Franklin High School Varsity Volleyball head coach, Anna Shields – an 18 year veteran of Panthers athletics – stepped down from her coaching position on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The veteran coach decided it was the right time to hand the program over to another person, expressing her desire to focus on her family. Shields will continue to teach physical education at Franklin High School.
Shields, a Bryson City native, played volleyball, basketball, and ran track for the Swain County Maroon Devils in high school. Shields received a scholarship to Western Carolina University. She opted to play volleyball for the Catamounts. for four years, and graduated in 1984.
In 18 years, Shields won seven conference championships. This past year, Shields led the varsity volleyball team to an appearance in the state semifinals for the first time in school history. She has 281 wins and 93 losses during her head coaching tenure at FHS.
“I just want to thank Macon County Schools, Jay Brooks, Chris Baldwin, and all the players I have coached in the past,” said Shields. Her biggest accomplishment has been the number of athletes she has helped get to the collegiate level. “It’s a lot of hard work. People don’t realize all of the work that goes into coaching. All of your success comes from working hard during the off-season. That happens to be in the summertime, and now I just want to be a parent and spend some time with my family,” she said.
Shields feels confident that she has left a strong program in place for her successor. “I do feel like whoever gets the chance to takeover this job will have a strong foundation to build from,” she said. With over 250 wins and seven conference championships to her resume, it is hard to argue otherwise.