06/11/11 — Terry Braswell - All-Area softball coach of the year

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Terry Braswell - All-Area softball coach of the year

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 11, 2011 11:03 PM

There are a lot of ways to be a leader. Some choose to be loud and authoritative, while others try to lead by example.

Terry Braswell is a rare kind of coach because he leads with his calm demeanor and even temper.

Never was that way of thinking more present than after Braswell's Princeton Bulldawg softball team fell in the semifinal round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state softball tournament at Walnut Creek last week.

As tears flowed from his players and parents offered words of consolation, Braswell seamlessly guided his way through his post-game interviews and began thinking about next season.

"This team did a lot of great things and I think we have a chance to do great things again next season," Braswell said. "I know the girls are upset, but we have nothing to hang our heads about. We played pretty much even with the best teams in the state."

On the heels of the Dawgs' historic playoff run, Braswell has been named the 2011 News-Argus All-Area Softball Coach-of-the-Year. Braswell won the award in 2010.

Princeton finished the season with a 23-7 record and claimed the Carolina 1-A Conference title. Braswell has won at least a share of the conference title in four of his five seasons as the Bulldawgs' head coach.

Perhaps no one has seen what Braswell has meant to the program at Princeton better than his wife, and assistant coach, Robyn.

"He never gets upset and he never loses his temper with the girls," she said. "I think the players respect the fact that Terry will correct them, but he will do it in a constructive way. He won't just wait until they get the dugout and blow up all of the sudden."

Robyn is quick to point out that Terry's even temper should not be confused with apathy.

"Terry is an incredibly competitive person, he just shows it differently than most guys," she said. "Believe me he goes to bed at night dreaming about softball. He truly loves the game."

One of the key weapons in Braswell's arsenal the last four seasons has been star pitcher Traci Bridgers. Not having to worry about who is going to run into the pitcher's circle has made life a lot easier for the head coach.

"Traci has been the constant in the lineup for us and she has done a great job," said Terry. "Next year we have a pretty good pitcher coming back so I think we can continue our success, just with a little bit of a new look."

Braswell has amassed a career mark of 81-37 during his time at Princeton. With eight returning starters set for 2012, it is almost certain that Braswell will add to that illustrious record next year.