Longtime Houston High School volleyball coach Debbie James announced Monday morning that she is retiring.
“It is time, and I’m OK with it,” James said in an e-mail announcing her decision. “It’s time to let the younger generation take over.”
James had a successful 15-year run with the Lady Tigers, averaging more than 21 victories per season to establish the program as a consistent winner. Houston won four district titles in a seven-year stretch under James, highlighted by a second-place finish at the state tournament in 2004.
James became head coach in 1989 and had brief stints as an assistant under Nancy Easter, Brent Kell and Debbie Kraft. She had a 329-144 overall record and won six SCA titles. She was named the conference coach of the year five times.
After James won her 300th career match in October 2007, she said she had “been blessed with outstanding athletes and great assistant coaches. She thanked Amy McNew, Deanna Smith, Trish Knight and Charlie Malam for making her a better coach.
“I want to be remembered as someone who cared about academics as well as athletics,” James said after her 300th win.