NOLENSVILLE — Brett Young rarely stops moving on the sideline, and it’s almost impossible to catch him sitting down.
When a volleyball skims the boundary line he’s one of the first to try and signal a point for his team. He leaps if the referees confirm the call.
He’s a fist-pumper who wears his emotions around his neck.
Young’s face tells the tale, also, when things go wrong for Nolensville.
“Through the good and the bad, he’s energetic,” Knights senior libero Maymie Guthrie said.
Energy and experience have gone a long way for Young. In his three seasons at Nolensville it has won Class AA state championships in 2019 and 2020, and is a contender for a third consecutive title the way things are going.
The Knights (37-3) clinched the Region 6-AAA championship with a 3-1 victory over Ravenwood on Tuesday. They can reach the school’s first Class AAA state tournament by defeating Hillsboro (16-14) in Nolensville on Thursday.
The Knights are 116-16 in almost three full seasons under Young, marking one of the best starts by a new head coach in the area in any sport.
He and Nolensville have been a good match. The story of their marriage dates back to a family decision made by Young.
Nine years ago after 13 seasons coaching Smyrna High School volleyball — which included the 2003 state title — he wanted a change. Young stepped down from his job, moved his family into Williamson County and began coaching middle school volleyball and teaching physical education at Hillsboro and Mill Creek middle schools.
That was the autumn of 2012, four years before Nolensville High School opened.
“It was more of a teaching (than coaching) change,” Young said of going from high school volleyball to middle school. “It was nice to be with that younger age group where I was teaching.”
Young threw his name into the pool of applicants when the Nolensville job became vacant and stood out among other candidates.
“I still teach PE at Mill Creek,” he said. “Now I’m just fortunate enough to walk down the hill and coach a good volleyball team.”
And he’s coaching many of the players he did in middle school, including his daughter Avery Young, now a senior. A number of Nolensville seniors, including Guthrie, a North Florida commitment, have played together under Young since they were in seventh grade.
That might help explain why the Knights are rolling right now.
“It’s pretty cool. We’ve known each other for a long time,” Guthrie said. “I think it’s really cool, to have gone through all these seasons of learning and experience that we all have together. I love how he makes a family-like atmosphere. I love how close we are and how important that is to him.”
Players also rally around his energy.
“I like it when coaches are in my face. It makes me play better,” freshman Kaira Knox said.
Some of that energy is by design, some of it is by nature.
“I’m a fidgety person. I literally never sit down,” Young said. “If I sit down I’m probably mad and trying to compose myself for a few points, then I get back up.
“It’s a fun sport to coach, man. There’s a lot of energy involved in this sport. I try to supply a little of that when I feel like we need it."