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Amber Warners Named AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year in Women’s Volleyball

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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Amber Warners Audio Interview

Lexington, Ky. (November 21, 2012) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has announced that Calvin College head women’s volleyball coach Amber Warners has been selected as the 2012 AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year. It marks the second time in three years that Warners has received the honor as she also received the award in 2010. She will officially receive the award at the Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Louisville, Ky. on Thursday, December 13.  The luncheon is held in conjunction with the 2012 AVCA Annual Convention.

In her 11th year at the helm of the Calvin women’s volleyball program, Warners has built a Division III powerhouse, leading the Knights to nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments. In 2012, Calvin once again proved it was one of the top teams in the nation, reaching the national championship match for the second time in three seasons, falling to the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) at Hope College after winning it all in 2010. Entering the NCAA Tournament,Calvin was ranked No. 1 in the nation and never fell below a No. 3 ranking the entire year.

It was not an easy route in Calvin’s latest path to the NCAA Championship Match, defeating three teams ranked in the AVCA Coaches Top-25poll entering the tournament in No. 13 Mount Union, No. 2 Wittenberg, No. 12 Puget Sound and No. 5 Christopher Newport, playing hard-fought five-set matches in two of those four matches. Ending the season with a 33-3 record, the Knights opened the season 20-0 before losing to Elmhurst. After the loss, they went on a 13-match winning streak with seven of them coming as sweeps.

The 1990 Calvin graduate has won the Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year four times in her illustrious career, including the 2010 AVCA National Coach of the Year. However, it has been her ability to coach and mentor her student-athletes that makes her one of the nation’s best. Two-time AVCA All-Americans Megan Rietema and Lizzie Kamp each made the first team in 2012including AVCA National Player of the Year in Kamp. It is the second consecutive NPOY Warners has coached after Kamp’s older sister Rebecca won the honor in 2011.

In 11 years as Calvin’s coach, Warners has compiled a won-loss record of 328-60 for a winning percentage of .845. In 12 years as a collegiate head coach, she has compiled a won-loss record of 349-71 for a winning percentage of .831. Heading into the 2012 season, she was ranked second among active NCAA III coaches for career winning percentage. She has led Calvin to nine consecutive NCAA III Tournament berths and has compiled six seasons of 30 wins or more during her Calvin volleyball coaching career.

Warners is a native of Holland and a graduate of Holland Christian High School. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Calvin in 1990, she earned a master’s degree and Ph.D from Michigan State University in sports psychology. She is an associate professor in Calvin’s department of kinesiology. Her Calvin volleyball teams have sparkled in the classroom, receiving the MIAA’s Team GPA Award 10 times for maintaining a grade point average of 3.30 or above. She has also coached two Capital One Academic All-Americans including Capital One Academic All-American of the Year Rebecca Kamp in 2011.

Warners is a former two-sport standout for Calvin in volleyball and softball.  As a softball player, Warners was a member of six Calvin teams that captured MIAA Championships—three in softball and three in volleyball.  Calvin also earned six NCAA III tournament bids—three each in softball and volleyball.  She was a member of Calvin softball teams finished fifth in the nation in 1989 and fourth in 1990, and a member of the Calvin volleyball team that finished second nationally in 1986.  As a volleyball player, she was twice named the league’s most valuable player as a setter and was named to the All-MIAA first team three times.  As a softball player, she was an outfielder.

As a Calvin College senior, Warners was honored with the Kay Tiemersma Award, an award presented annually to the varsity women’s athlete who best exemplifies athletic ability, scholastic standing, and character and leadership.

Warners previously taught at Holland Christian High School where she coached softball and volleyball.  In 1994, she guided the Maroons to the Class B Volleyball State Championship game.  Warners also served as the interim head volleyball coach at Hope College in 1994, compiling a 21-11 record.

Warners has also served an eight-year tenure as Calvin’s softball coach where she led the Knights to pair of NCAA III Tournament berths. In 1997, she took Calvin all the way to the NCAA III Softball World Series where she was honored as Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year.

She and her husband Mark have three sons: Emmett, Carson and Tanner. Also a Calvin graduate, Mark is a teacher at Grand Rapids Christian High School.

CALVIN’S NATIONAL COACHES OF THE YEAR (BY YEAR)

Karla Wolters - Volleyball, 1986
Ed Douma - Men’s Basketball, 1992
Nancy Meyer - Women’s Cross Country, 1998
Nancy Meyer - Women’s Cross Country, 1999
Kevin Vande Streek - Men’s Basketball, 2000
Brian Diemer and Al Hoekstra - Men’s Cross Country, 2000
Jong-il Kim - Women’s Track and Field, 2002
Jong-il Kim - Women’s Track and Field, 2003
Jong-il Kim - Men’s Track and Field, 2003
Brian Diemer and Al Hoekstra - Men’s Cross Country, 2003
Brian Diemer and Al Hoekstra - Men’s Cross Country, 2004
Jong-il Kim - Women’s Track and Field, 2005
Brian Diemer - Men’s Cross Country, 2006
Aaron Paskvan - Women’s Diving, 2007
Aaron Paskvan - Women’s Diving, 2009
Amber Warners - Women’s Volleyball, 2010
Amber Warners - Women’s Volleyball, 2012

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