She's been an inspiration to many young ladies over the years. Her team is affectionately known as the "Ladies in Blue."
Norwalk High School volleyball coach Grace "Hutch" Hutchinson recorded her 500th career win Tuesday night as the team defeated Willard in four games. Now in her 30th year as head coach, Hutchinson has been a winner both on and off the court.
Hutch, like most coaches, always credits the players. As for the number of wins, well most coaches will tell you that just comes from being around a long time.
Remember former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Lenny Wilkens? He not only is the winningest all-time coach in the National Basketball Association with 1,315 wins, he's also the losingest coach with 1,133 losses.
Not so with Hutch. While Wilkens barely is over the break-even point with a .537 winning record, Hutch stands at 500-206 overall (.708).
Keep this in mind. The only reason Hutch has been around so long is because she deserves to be there. Think about this. Hutch has outlasted eight varsity football coaches in her 30 years from Bob Hart to Jordan Horowitz, the one whom current coach Jeff Cole replaced.
Hutch, like usual, took it all in stride.
"I was excited and pleased and I think the kids were even excited," she said after the game. "But 501 is just as important."
Hutch has devoted her life to volleyball. She was way ahead of her time when she started and her program has always been one schools look up to. When she's not coaching on the high school level, she's teaching young girls at one of her summer camps or with the Junior Olympic program.
Her first team at Norwalk in 1978 lost all 19 matches it played. Her second team went 7-12. The program has come a long way since then.
Congratulations on a job well done.