All college signing ceremonies are emotional.

It’s the end of an era and the beginning of another for students, coaches and parents. Tears are not uncommon.

But when the coach and parent are the same person, things get really emotional, and that was the case Thursday afternoon when Covington senior Anna Gover signed a volleyball scholarship with UT-Martin.


When Angie Gover, Anna’s mother and the Covington High volleyball coach, tried to make a speech, she started crying and had to stop. When Anna attempted to make a speech, the same thing happened to her.

The plan was not for Angie to coach her daughter during her senior year. In fact, she’d never coached her daughter before. But when coach Molly Glass stepped down over the summer, Angie stepped in to take the job.

“Just a dream come true,” Angie said when asked what it was like to coach her daughter. “To be able to be with her and experience that opportunity with her and the emotions and everything that goes into it, not only watching her but being a part of it from beginning to end, was a lot of fun.”

“It was so fun,” Anna said. “My mom is one of my very best friends.”

Gover, a starter since she was a freshman, was the district MVP two straight years. She led the team to the state tournament in 2020, the school’s first trip to state in 19 years. The Lady Chargers finished one win from state in 2021.

“She’s a leader,” Angie said when asked to talk about her daughter as a volleyball player. “Just an all-around player. She can do it all.”

Anna is also a really good softball player and certainly would have had the opportunity to play that sport in college. Ultimately, though, she chose to pursue volleyball.

“I don’t know, my passion just kind of switched.” Anna said. “It happened probably my sophomore year. Like I said, I’d planned to play softball my whole life, but volleyball became my passion so I decided to make a switch.”

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland