Ratzlaff steps down as Tabor College volleyball coach

Amy Ratzlaff coaches her team to a win during the National Volleyball Tournament opening round match against Trinity Christian College. Tabor ended the season 28-12 and 17-5 in the KCAC  / Free Press file photoAfter 19 seasons as the volleyball coach at Tabor College, Amy Ratzlaff has decided to hang up her whistle. In August, she will assume the role of assistant professor of health and physical education.

“One of the most special things about coaching at Tabor are all the alumni and families that have been a part of my life,” Ratzlaff said.

“I am so thankful for the time I have had with so many amazing people making memories for a lifetime. But, as a mother, this move will allow me to be more available to attend all the events that my older children are now involved in.”

This past season, Ratzlaff took the Bluejays to their second consecutive NAIA National Volleyball Tourna­ment.

After defeating Trinity Christian College in the opening round at Tabor, the Bluejays headed to pool play in Sioux City, Iowa. Despite going 0-3 in pool play, Tabor proved they could play with the top teams in the country.

Tabor ended this season 28-12 (17-5 KCAC), and swept through the conference tournament, led by second team All-American, Amy Horner.

“Our team is at the pinnacle of performance, which makes it hard to step away,” Ratzlaff said. “We have incredible returners who know exactly what needs to happen to return to the national stage, and our recruiting class for 2018, so far, is one of the best that I have had at Tabor.”

Ratzlaff ends her career 368-227 (266-84 KCAC), including eight regular-season conference championships, four post-season conference championships, three “Coach of the Year” honors and two national tournament appearances.

“It’s not so much that I am ready to be done coaching, because stepping down has been ridiculously hard, but the door to becoming faculty presented itself, and God continued to open the doors,” Ratzlaff said.

“I am trusting His plan in the transition. The bottom line for me is that I love to teach, I love our students and I love Tabor and its mission.”

Rusty Allen, vice president of enrollment management and intercollegiate athletics, has been pleased with Ratzlaff, both on and off the court.

“She is a proven winner,” Allen said. “Year after year after year, Tabor volleyball was at or near the top of the KCAC thanks to her leadership.

“More importantly, her Christian influence on the young women who played for her was special. I can’t express how thankful I have been for Amy’s leadership, not only as our volleyball coach, but as an associate athletic director.”

Allen also noted his support for Ratzlaff’s move to full-time teaching.

“Amy has an outstanding reputation in the classroom,” Allen said. “I am excited for Amy that she gets to move into this new opportunity and very glad that we are keeping her at Tabor College.

Allen indicated that Tabor will be looking for someone who can continue the tradition of competitive excellence on the court, while helping young women come to know and grow in relationship to Jesus.

A national search will commence immediately.

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