It’s been 30 years since Lynn Winkelmann, Dawn Grosse, Kate Schannuth and Melissa Engemann played for Linda Lampkin, but still, after all those years, they admit...
“We’re all still afraid of her," while laughing in unison.
All four can joke about it now, as they watch their daughters endure Lampkin’s toughness, but when they look back that fear only stems from a seven-letter word.
“We still respect her," added Winkelmann. "My daughters respect her. They would go to her if they picked a favorite coach. Even though having other coaches they absolutely loved, they would pick Coach Lampkin without a question.”
What’s not to respect? She’s turned Hermann volleyball into a state power in her 38 years at the helm and Alan Speckhals had the pleasure of having a front row seat to for 33 seasons as her assistant.
“The fun part sometimes, if you’re really thinking ahead, you watch a team come into the gym for the first time and you’ll see the girls walk in from one end and you can just see them," as Speckhals looks up. "They’re looking up and they start to realize, '86, '90, '91, you know on and on and on. All the sudden they’re going 'Oh my gosh this is real.'”
There are 12 state championship banners hanging in the gym, and all have come under Lampkin’s watch, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the current players on her team.
“Every time I walk in the gym I look up at the wall," said Tess Schannuth. "I’m like 'My name is going to be up there. It has to be.'”
“We always go into the gym, added senior Brooke Grosse. "We always see all the state championships up on the wall, and we see Coach Lampkin’s name as the head coach, and it’s really cool. I see my mom’s name, my friend's mom's name, my aunt's. It’s really awesome. There's a legacy here and just to be a part of it’s really nice.”
Lampkin added to her legacy this season after the Bearcats won the Lebanon Tournament title. It marked her 900th career win, and it’s now the most wins among all of the girls’ volleyball coaches in the state of Missouri.
"I’m honored and humbled by it," said Lampkin. "There have been a lot of great coaches out there. I know a lot of coaches that have 800 wins in Missouri and they’re great coaches. I feel humbled that I’m a part of that group.”
If you know Lampkin though, she doesn’t count the wins or the losses, this is what’s important to her.
“It’s more about how we’re performing."
She’s not only an alum of the high school, but she played volleyball for the Bearcats from 1972 to 1975 and when she thinks of the numerous generations of families she’s coached, she can’t help but smile.
"A lot of the daughters are very much like their mothers and so it’s always kind of fun and interesting, to see how they’re going to develop compared to how their mom’s did," added Lampkin. "I like to see the moms at the games because I can visit with them and it’s really just a very special feeling.”