“It’s 29 years later and I still keep in contact with my original 1992 team captain,” said Scott Warner. Warner, a former Titusville resident, was recently awarded the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS) Girl’s Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year.
Warner has coached at Valley Central High School in Orange County, New York, for 29 years, and first started his coaching career in Titusville. While Warner won the award for girl’s swimming and diving, he is actually a three-sport coach of also boys swimming and diving in the winter, and girl’s golf in the spring. Warner is also a full-time physical education teacher for Valley Central.
The award is given to a nominated coach who then answers a questionnaire before the winner is selected. Judges take into account overall record, individual coaching philosophy, as well as community involvement.
The Warner name may sound familiar to local residents as Scott’s grandparents own Warner Bakery on Main Street.
Warner, a 1980 graduate from Titusville High school, returned to the area after graduating from Slippery Rock University in Butler County. Growing up, Warner was active in athletics. During his high school days, Warner was a member of the Titusville swimming and diving teams as well as the tennis team.
His first job after college was as a substitute teacher for the Titusville Area School District. While teaching in Titusville, Warner joined the coaching staff of his former coach, Terry Funk. At the time, Funk was the head coach of both the girls and boys swimming and diving teams.
When Funk moved on from his role, Warner got his first taste as a head coach, leading the Titusville boys’ program.
Warner attributes a lot of his success to the lessons he learned and experiences he had while coaching for Titusville. “One of the big things I learned from Terry was to be consistent and to communicate,” said Warner.
While things can change from team to team, Warner said that it’s important to be consistent in how you handle the changing situations. Coming full circle, Warner said that much of what he learned about coaching from Funk appeared in the answers he sent to the NFHS.
On the communication front, Warner stated that one of the first things he implemented was a team newsletter. The newsletter allowed for parents and family members to stay informed about the team. There were also sections for the athletes that included information about proper dieting and health. Warner also hoped that the newsletter would cut down on certain interactions. “My absolute favorite is when parents stop me to ask about their kid” said Warner. “My response is always “sure, but after we talk about your kid, we have to talk about all 25 of my kids (referencing the other members of Warner’s teams).”
While coaching for Valley Central, Warner has held another role involved with high school sports. He is the New York State Boys Assistant Swimming and Diving Director, or as he would put it, “I’m third from the top.” Warner admits that this position may have helped him in the community involvement section of the award selection.
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