Trinity’s Mrs. 300: Margie Snead coaches champions in two sports

RICHMOND, Va -- As any high school coach will tell you, it's not easy to win any one single game.

"It`s really hard," explained Trinity Episcopal's Rick Hamlin, who coaches both boys' basketball and girls' soccer. "Especially when you're really good because people really want to beat you. And Margie`s teams are really good."

Margie is Margie Snead.

She is the head coach of both the field hockey and girls' lacrosse teams at Trinity Episcopal.  There is a symmetry to each team and sport that allows Snead to use some basic principles in each season.

"Making decisions under pressure and then understanding how to move on a field or court off ball," Snead explained.  "Only one person has the ball at any given time, and it`s really what everyone else is doing that creates opportunity."

Snead's teams, particularly her field hockey teams, have seized on that opportunity.

The program has won six straight League of Independent school titles, including this year's title, creating a legacy that new students understand from the very first practice.

"They understand what has been given to them, and I think each class wants to leave the program better than they found it," Snead said.

Hamlin added "Having a tradition is important because kids come in and they`re excited and they take ownership quickly because they know there is that legacy that they need to protect."

That legacy also produced a bond that is as strong as any.

When last year's state champions were presented with their banner for the gym, it was delivered by her first state champs from 2015. Both teams included one of Snead's daughters.

"I don`t think that you can have longevity and wins and build up a program if you don`t have alumni that want to come back," Anna Prillaman, Trinity's Activities Director, said. "I think those things are correlated and she definitely has it. They`re back all the time."

Snead was a standout player as a student herself at Trinity. She was good enough to not only earn a scholarship to William and Mary, but to be enshrined as a player in both school's halls of fame. Now as a coach, she has won over 300 games with both the field hockey and lacrosse programs.

Neither team plays more than 25 games a season, even if they win a state title, making that total even more impressive.

"The longevity of it is ridiculous," Prillaman added.  "People don`t realize how hard it is to get through one season coaching high school sports with all that`s asked of you. Driving the bus, to wrangling kids going through their ups and downs personally. To stick it out for that long is one thing, not to mention she was raising two kids the entire time."

"She`s arguably the greatest female athlete to wear the uniform here as a student," Hamlin added.  "None of the kids here were even alive then. The success she`s had in two programs here as a coach, plus because of her role here in admissions, she really touches every student as they come through the process."

Snead's legacy at Trinity will be that of an outstanding player and coach, but also of someone who is looked upon for support and advice far away from the field.

"She's a confidant," Prillaman explained. "She`s got a couch in her office for a reason. I`m not the only one that goes in there. I`ll go in there sometimes and there`s people laying down in there because they just need five minutes."

"When it`s all said and done, she should be the first person to get into our Trinity Hall of Fame a second time simply because her accomplishments as a coach are worthy of that as well," Hamlin said.

"I just think I`m luck to work at a place where that`s really valued, it`s nurtured, it`s celebrated: Snead said.  "If in doing that I am a role model for the girls that come through, it`s a bonus. It`s certainly a hope."

Snead's field hockey team brought home another state title this year, and have now won 44 straight games. Their last loss came in the 2017 state title contest.

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