Andrews looks back on career as a Raiders volleyball coach

Coach Shawn Andrews (right) poses with the district title next to her daughter Kendyl. Photo courtesy of Salvatore Ausiello

TO RINSE — For 25 years, Coach Shawn Andrews was a mainstay of the Flushing varsity volleyball program, leading the Raiders to numerous post-season district titles and deep runs.

With the 2021 season in the books, Andrews has decided to resign from the volleyball team to focus on other pursuits. However, she will not officially retire; she plans to stay connected with the Raider athletic program and continue to coach a club volleyball team.

“I just felt like this was the right time,” Andrews said. “For the future, my plan is to stay involved in athletics. I always want to invest time in coaching children.”

Andrews will also continue to teach health and physical education classes at Flushing High School.

Led by Andrews, the Raiders won 827 games, five regional titles* and 17 district titles. In 2021, the program earned its fourth consecutive district title and its 16th in the past 17 years.

Coach Andrews (far right) with players and staff of the 2021 team. Photo courtesy of Salvatore Ausiello

Coach Andrews (far right) with players and staff of the 2021 team. Photo courtesy of Salvatore Ausiello

In addition to success on the court, Raider produced varsity volleyball 24 years in a row Academic All-State honors student athletes.

Andrews attributed much of the program’s consistency to the “bigger than volleyball” approach. Throughout her career, she encouraged her players to serve as mentors to youth in the Flushing School District and to work just as hard in the classroom as they do on the field.

“By the time our kids are seniors, they understand the kind of role model they want to be and are laying the groundwork for the next team,” she said. “We always want children to be ready to represent, be leaders, set high standards and be the hardest workers.”

As she moves into the next phase of her career, Andrews said she will always appreciate her close-knit coaching staff and the relationships she has forged with players and their families at Vlissingen.

“What I will miss most is the time we spent together, whether it be trips up north, summer activities or team dinners,” she said. “Those memories have stayed with me over the years.”

Andrews also got the chance to coach her daughter Kendyl, who earned All-Flint Metro League honors for four consecutive seasons. Kendyl has committed to play college volleyball at Wayne State University next fall.

Andrews, a 1990 graduate of Flushing, was a three-year-old varsity player in high school basketball and volleyball. She started her teaching career in Vlissingen as a primary physical education teacher in 1997 before entering secondary school to teach health, physical education and psychology.

In addition to running the varsity volleyball program, Andrews coached JV girls’ basketball for several years and was the JV volleyball coach for one season. She also helped organize the Volley 4 Mollie fundraiser – a volleyball tournament that raised more than $100,000 for young students with life-threatening medical conditions.

*Vlissingen won two regional titles in 2007, the first in the spring of 2007 and the second in the fall of 2007 as the volleyball schedules transitioned from winter/spring to fall.

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