CHIPOLA, Fla. (WMBB) — A new era has begun for Chipola softball.
Coach Belinda Hendrix is passing the reigns of the program after eighteen seasons to her longtime assistant coach Kelly Brookins.
“I don’t think I would have left if I didn’t think this program was gonna be well taken care of, I’m about to cry now because this is so emotional and bittersweet,” Hendrix said.
Brookins has been an integral part of the Chipola softball program for ten seasons. Helping guide the team under Hendricks to two national titles and six consecutive appearances in the national tournament.
Brookins even played for the Indians and was a part of Hendrix’s first recruiting class at the school.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity, I think it’s a long time coming and it’s just gonna be another day in the office that we’ve been doing the last ten years so I’m excited for it,” Brookins said.
Brookins added that even though they will be under new leadership it will be business as usual for the Indians.
“I think it’s going to be a smooth transition just because I had to take over for Belinda when her mom got sick this year, and I had no choice, we had to keep it going and so I did what I needed to do and it’s just gonna be another day in the office, it’s just another year, so let’s work hard and get out there and win some championships,” Brookins said.
Brookins spent her youth in nearby Bristol and played softball at Liberty County High School.
It means so much to her to start her coaching career in her home of the Panhandle.
“One of my dreams was to coach college ball but I didn’t know it was gonna come full circle here, and I think god opened that door whenever I came and signed the scholarship and went on to play two more years and then came back again for ten years and I just believe this was a stepping stone to get me to this level so yeah it’s just awesome,” Brookins said.