Brianna Montgomery-Braun, Moffat County High School head volleyball coach, coaches her team from the sideline barefoot Thursday night against Rifle during the homecoming game. Montgomery-Braun said she has never worn shoes or socks during her coaching career.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Brianna Montgomery-Braun, Moffat County High School head volleyball coach, coaches her team from the sideline barefoot Thursday night against Rifle during the homecoming game. Montgomery-Braun said she has never worn shoes or socks during her coaching career.

MCHS volleyball coach patrols sidelines sans shoes

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Brianna Montgomery-Braun walks back to the bench after a timeout in the second set of the varsity volleyball Homecoming game Thursday night against Rifle High School. Moffat County won the game, 3-0.

When the game is on, Brianna Montgomery-Braun, Moffat County High School varsity volleyball coach, displays a range of emotions.

When her team scores, she's the first to jump with joy.

When opponents score, Montgomery-Braun is stern.

But regardless of the game or situation, she always is the same in one regard.

Her footwear.

Or lack thereof.

The fourth-year coach can be seen patrolling the sidelines sans shoes when her team squares off in games.

"It's only been like that since I started coaching," Montgomery-Braun said. "I don't really know why, but I have never worn shoes during games."

During practice, it's not uncommon to see Montgomery-Braun in rotations, or flying towards the net serving up spikes to her players.

Montgomery-Braun played at Northwest Junior College in Powell, Wyo., and still can challenge her players at the net.

While wearing shoes.

During games, Montgomery-Braun is almost as active - she paces and jumps when her team scores and is rarely sedentary after the ball is served.

The need to root for her team while staying off the bench contributes to Shoeless Brianna.

"I'm always moving," she said. "And, I'm usually wearing heels. But even if I wore flip-flops, I would still probably go barefoot."

Her style has not gone unnoticed.

"Last year, I had a parent give me socks," she said. "They thought my feet might get cold."

Montgomery-Braun said she has not seen another coach without shoes.

Even more rare than one coach who doesn't wear shoes during games are three coaches without footwear.

And that's what Moffat County has in Montgomery-Braun, junior varsity coach Becky Otterman and C-team coach Kitrina Lacen.

Otterman, who had previously coached at Hayden High School, had never worn shoes when coaching.

"I never did, because of the floor," she said, pointing to a black scuffmark on the hardwood. "And because it's more comfortable being barefoot."

But, unlike Montgomery-Braun, Otterman and Lacen wear socks when patrolling the sideline.

"I don't want people looking at my feet," she said. "We're country girls, so we're always barefoot."

Otterman said the coaches typically dress up for the games and that includes high heels.

Running with high heels would give anyone second thoughts, Montgomery-Braun said.

"The floor is really slick, and if I'm wearing heels and jumping, I might hurt myself," she said. "I'm really clumsy, too."

Still, calling the shots on the sidelines without shoes has its downfalls.

"By the end of the game," Montgomery-Braun said, "my feet are really dirty."

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