AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo native and West Texas A&M head volleyball coach Kendra Potts first made her impact on the dominated male field of sports, when she played on the WTAMU volleyball team from 2000 to 2003.
During her time as a “Lady Buff”, she was named an All-American three times along with being awarded as LSC’s all-time assists leader.
“I have two older sisters and I was the third, I always kind of stuck in the gym watching them get to play their sports. When I watched them playing volleyball that sport interested me more than the other ones that I was watching,” said Potts. “So, honestly it’s because of my two older sisters that I fell in love with volleyball.”
Potts continued to talk more about her experience playing sports in the Panhandle.
“For me my experience here at WT, I think was probably unique to maybe some others, because I did feel very supported here. I did feel like the community showed attention to the female sports specifically volleyball,” said Potts. “I am not sure if it was like for everyone else you know. Honestly, the older I get and the longer I’m in this, the more I realize I was probably in a very, you know, unique situation feeling so supported as a female athlete.”
Potts became the head coach of the volleyball team in 2019 and led the “Lady Buffs” to win the NCAA Division 2 Volleyball Championship in 2022.
“It feels, it’s crazy to say it out loud you know. We go on our day-to-day and we’re grinding in the gym, whenever we could but to say it out loud that we won the national championship, I still kind of, you know, the hairs on my back stand up I just get chills,” said Potts. “It’s really cool. So, it’s something that I’m just thankful that the group that we got to do this together, we have this story for the rest of our lives.”
Potts said that being a female coach allows her to connect better with her players.
“As a female coach, you know, coaching other female athletes, I feel like I’m in the business of people, and I just so happened to coach volleyball,” said Potts. “Really, it’s just connecting you know and being able to relate to them and saying although it’s been some time. I can empathize with you on what you’re juggling and I’m here to help you.”
She added that although she is grateful to represent female coaches, she is also grateful to the male coaches she had in the past.
“I think the balance between both is important, you know, and I think having different-minded people trying to navigate and, build a team is important to have so I think our differences actually make us stronger,” said Potts.
Potts talked about plans that a few of the girls have on the team and how she encouraged them to achieve their dreams.
“We’ve got girls who are going to change the world on our team, you know. And so, we’ve got aspiring orthopedic surgeons, we’ve got counselors, we’ve got teachers, we’ve got girls in law school that were here a couple of years ago, we’ve got girls in physical therapy school as we speak,” said Potts. “And what I want them to make sure they know is that whatever they want to do, they need to speak it, they need to put it out there, and they need to be brave enough to say, this is what I want to do.”