Kourtney Crawford, a University of Indianapolis alum, has been named the new head coach for Goshen College women’s volleyball, following the retirement of Jim Routhier, head coach of 32 years.
Most recently, Crawford was an assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team at the University of Indianapolis. Crawford also has held assistant and head coaching positions in numerous locations in the Indianapolis area, including at Warren Central High School and Bishop Chatard High School.
Crawford is from Indianapolis and has no connection to Goshen, but she was quickly drawn to the athletic program and the small and close-knit community aspect of the campus, which reminded Crawford of her own college experience.
Crawford’s first official day as head coach for the women’s volleyball team was on March 1. The transition from assistant coach to head coach is still a learning process for Crawford, but the team has been very supportive and helpful.
As the new women’s volleyball coach, Crawford has big plans for her team that will go beyond the court.
“I want people to know who Goshen volleyball is,” said Crawford. “I want the team to get better day by day. They have all the tools to be successful, they just have to have the confidence in themselves and go with it. With confidence there is zero limitations.”
For Crawford, being a coach involves more than teaching a sport. She wants the team to get better, but she also wants them to be good people and to “remember their why.”
“As a coach, we wear so many hats and teaching the actual sport is sometimes the very last thing we do,” said Crawford. “I tell all my girls, ‘Remember your why. Remember why you’re doing this because for everybody it is different and every morning you have a choice.’”
“I want them to be good people because the person as a whole is more important to me than if they are really good at volleyball,” said Crawford.
Crawford knows that she is in a position where she has the ability to have a positive impact on players, not just as athletes but as people. Crawford also loves seeing athletes learn, improve, and grow after working hard with them. This is something she hopes to see and accomplish with the women’s volleyball team.
“I want them to look back on their years here at Goshen and be like, ‘Wow Coach K. was awesome’ but not just in the aspect of like we had a successful season or like we won a lot of games,” said Crawford. “That’s cool, but people don’t remember that. They remember how you make them feel and the relationship you built with them.”
The relationships that she builds with the women’s volleyball team are very important to Crawford because she knows that the people they interact with will shape their life in one way or another.
“It’s really important for me when they graduate that they want to come back to Goshen and for them to want to give back to Goshen,” said Crawford. “Building relationships with people will take you to new limits”
Crawford’s list on what she wants to accomplish as the new head coach is long, as is the list for what she wants her team to accomplish. For now, she wants the women’s volleyball team to embrace the space and moment that they are in, to be confident, and to work hard every day in order to get better.