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For the third time, a top-ranked coach at Calvin College has been named Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Amber Warners is in her 12th year as head volleyball coach at the Grand Rapids, Mich., college, which is owned by the Christian Reformed Church. Warners’s team went 35-1 this past fall and won the NCAA Division III national championship in a nail-biting final match. It was their second national title in the last four years.

What does it take to be a good coach? According to Warners, “coaching is about having a passion for what you’re doing, being a good communicator and a servant leader who is able to admit wrong and ask for forgiveness,” she said.

And winning? “Winning is just the icing on the cake,” she said.

Warners explained that the reason she coaches is the relationships she gets to experience with the women on the team during the four years they play. “I look at the team as a small church community. We’re there for each other when things go wrong and when things go right,” she said.

“I love playing for coach Warners,” said sophomore Maggie Kamp, named the national tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “She knows how to keep the mood light and intense at the same time, and she truly cares that we not only reach our full potential as volleyball players, but more importantly as Christian women.”

Getting the top coach award for the third time (she also received it in 2010 and 2012) is humbling and even a little embarrassing, Warners said, but she gives all the credit to God, and she is starting to see that God uses worldly success for his kingdom purposes.

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