QUINCY -- Kelly Sullivan knew before the Quincy High School volleyball team's season began her life was shifting in a different direction.
"There's a lot you don't have time to do when you're coaching," Sullivan said.
The only way to create more time is to step away from the game.
Friday morning, Sullivan did that. After informing the QHS administration Thursday of her decision to resign after two seasons as the head coach, Sullivan told her team Friday morning.
"Absolutely, it's tough," Sullivan said. "Very tough. Even now, I'm very emotional."
Sullivan and her husband, who were married in July, are wanting to travel and beginning building their life together.
"We'll see where it takes us," she said.
It could take her back to the court at some point.
"I won't say I'm completely done coaching," Sullivan said.
A 2007 graduate of Galesburg High School and 2012 graduate of Knox College, Sullivan was hired to replace Barb Crist as the QHS coach in 2016. Crist resigned in December 2015 after a successful 10-year run in which she led the Blue Devils to a 314-68 record with six Western Big Six Conference titles, four regional titles, two sectional crowns and a fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament in 2009.
Sullivan kept the program playing at a high level.
In 2016, the Blue Devils finished 24-14 overall and 9-1 in the WB6, sharing the title with Moline.
This fall, the Blue Devils went 27-9 and 9-1 in the WB6, again sharing the title with Moline. Quincy lost to Edwardsville in the Class 4A regional both years.
Sullivan credited the players' commitment as the reason for success.
"They've been a part of my family for the last two years," Sullivan said. "I've made a lot of good relationships and a lot of great memories."
And Sullivan believes she takes as much with her as she hopes she instilled in her players.
"I've learned a lot of lessons about leadership and person-to-person interaction," Sullivan said.