When former Central Community College - Columbus head volleyball coach, and current interim athletic director, Mary Young first met her future replacement, neither one had any idea just how the future would unfold.
Abby Pollart, just a kid at the time, was in the gym supporting her mom coaching a game against Young and her Central squad two decades ago.
Pollart's mom had a career that included head coaching stops at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado; and Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.
"Abby has been around the game forever," Young said. "She's a coach’s kid, and not just any coach’s kid, her mom was a fabulous volleyball coach and always produced great teams. Abby grew up around that."
Pollart, who was most recently an assistant at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota; said she is looking forward to her first head-coaching position.
"I was excited (when I heard about the opportunity)," Pollart said. "It's a really good opportunity to step into a program that's been successful and has a great culture. The legacy that Mary has built here is awesome. I'm just super excited for the opportunity."
Young said she believes Pollart will have the ability to continue the success she built over a 24-year career in Columbus.
"Abby has worked under some good coaches," Young said. "She's had some great experience at her previous schools. She's familiar with the junior college experience. You take that, with her formal education as well as training she's had under other coaches, and she's ready to be a head coach.
"She has what it takes. She has a great disposition. She has great values. She's a hard worker. When you have someone who’s a hard worker and they know the game of volleyball and can teach the game, they're going to be a good volleyball coach. They're going to have a good strong influence over young people."
Pollart grew up in the game with mom on the sidelines and a love for the sport from early on.
After high school, she played a year and a half at Northeastern in Colorado before moving on to St. Gregory University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
After finishing her college career, it didn't take long for Pollart to miss volleyball.
"It was one of those things that I initially thought because I grew up around coaching that maybe I should give it a whirl," she said. "But then I wanted to make sure that's where my heart was and what I'm called to do."
Pollart was a youth director at a Catholic church right after her undergrad career.
"It only took me three or four months before I realized that I was really missing the game and being in the gym," she said. "I started as a volunteer at Cameron University in Oklahoma and did two years down there. It didn't take very long for me to realize that this is what I wanted to do."
After Young took the interim athletic director position, she contacted Pollart about the coaching vacancy.
"Mary reached out to me," Pollart said. "She thought I might be interested. We had a few conversations back-and-forth. At the time, I wasn't looking to leave my current job because I had just gotten there a year ago. I was a little hesitant at first. We had some really good conversations and I'm really comfortable with her and how she ran her program."
Despite coming into a program with success, Pollart said she isn't too nervous.
She won't be alone though, as assistant coach Jared Johnson is staying on staff to help out and Central returns multiple players from last year's team.
"It's an honor more than it is pressure to know where it's been and the potential to have the same success," Pollart said. "Having Mary right here is awesome to have a mentor that's done it. She's been really great and has suggested certain things and answered questions.
"She wants to see it succeed as much as I do."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com