Former Austin Peay volleyball players Ashley Glotta and Ginny Busse are coaching volleyball at Ensworth school. | SUBMITTED

As soon as Ashley Glotta received the news that she would be named head volleyball coach at Ensworth High School, she immediately made the call for a new interim and assistant coach.

Ginny Busse, who played volleyball alongside Glotta for two seasons at Austin Peay, was appointed to be one of the program’s assistants.

Glotta and Busse hold a connection that reaches far beyond the game itself.

Glotta was placed on maternity leave three months after accepting the position with the Tigers, leaving Busse to be interim coach for nearly a month. The coach was grateful to have someone she trusts put into place to run the program while she was absent.

She said her friend taking the interim and assistant role made the beginning of the season an easy transition for the team.

“I didn’t have to worry about Ginny trying to steal my job behind my back or not doing something that I would do,” she said. “It was a nice comfort for me. I really didn’t feel like I had to rush back from having my baby, because I knew everything was taken care of. I think that speaks to our closeness of knowing each other more and staying in constant communication throughout the process of me being gone.”

The two created a strong connection at APSU through faith and a fierce competitive nature. Glotta and Busse are two of the most decorated players in Govs volleyball history: the former receiving the OVC Player of the Year award in 2017 and the latter earning OVC Defensive Player of the Year last year. Over their two seasons together in a Governors uniform, Busse and Glotta attained a school-record 54 wins between the 2017-19 seasons.

They take over a program that achieved a 20-8 record a season ago and reached the Division II-A State Quarterfinals. Both coaches believe their winning history benefit the Tigers as they attempt to return to the TSSAA State Tournament.

“I think (winning) complements our coaching styles,” Busse said. “Ashley is good at the last contact in games — hitting, blocking — and I’m good at the first contact: passing, serving, all that. We kind of help each other out in terms of that aspect. It helps our players respect us.

“The parents respect us, because we do have those awards that were given and that we worked hard for. It shows that we know what it takes to be a winner.”

The duo’s relationship goes far beyond the volleyball court. Busse and Glotta are neighbors in the downtown Clarksville area and carpool to the school’s campus whenever possible.

Busse said she’s uncertain on her future in the world of coaching volleyball, but is thankful nonetheless to be working alongside a close friend and former teammate.

“I am here to serve Ashley in this role. This is her dream job, wanting to be a head coach at her alma mater. I’m from Illinois so this is kind of just another school to me, but it really has a lot of meaning to Ashley and I respect that. She just entrusted me with a little piece of her dream, so I want to do it right.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect Glotta’s first full season as head coach.