Spurgeon College Welcomes Lauren Willow as New Women’s Volleyball Coach

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Spurgeon College is pleased to announce the appointment of Lauren Willow as the new head coach for the women’s volleyball team. With a rich background in both athletics and academics, Coach Willow brings a unique blend of experience, skill, and passion to the Spurgeon College community.

“I am truly grateful for the addition of Lauren Willow as our head volleyball coach,” said President Jason Allen. “Coach Evie Stanton did a phenomenal job in founding our program, and she is leaving it in the hands of a very capable coach in Willow. The Lord has been kind to send us great coaches to Spurgeon College, and I am excited to see how Spurgeon College volleyball will continue to develop under coach Willow’s leadership.”

Originally from Arlington, OH, Willow is a recent graduate of Cedarville University, where she earned degrees in Special Education and Early Childhood Education, along with minors in Bible, Biblical Care and Counseling, and Women’s Ministries.

A standout athlete, Willow was a five-year member of both the volleyball and track and field teams at Cedarville. Her athletic achievements include being a five-time all GMAC (Great Midwest Athletic Conference) in volleyball, a two-time NCAA DII Midwestern Regional player of the year, a three-time NCCAA DI All-American, and an AVCA DII All-American Honorable Mention. In track and field, she was a two-time National Champion in the NCCAA DI High Jump and a seven-time NCCAA All-American.

Willow, who comes from a family steeped in collegiate athletics, is currently engaged (soon to be Coach Allaway) and completing her master’s in business administration at Ohio Christian University. Her coaching experience includes serving as the graduate assistant and head JV volleyball coach at OCU, where she led her team to an impressive 11-2 season.

A New Chapter at Spurgeon College

“I am beyond excited to join the Spurgeon family,” says Coach Willow. “I love how the Spurgeon College and Midwestern Seminary family values the Word of God and chooses to not be ‘Christian’ in name only. They value discipleship and education as a ministry in all different areas of the school.”

Coach Willow’s appointment comes at a time when Spurgeon College is increasingly recognized for its dedication to excellence in both academics and athletics. Her philosophy of coaching, deeply rooted in discipleship and servant leadership, aligns perfectly with the college’s values.

Coaching Philosophy and Vision

Coach Willow’s coaching philosophy is influenced by her strong faith and commitment to servant leadership, drawing inspiration from Philippians 2:1-11. “My role as a coach extends beyond the court,” she explained. “It’s about preparing these young women for life, instilling in them a strong foundation in Christ and personal growth.”

Her approach to coaching is one that sees volleyball not just as a sport, but as a platform for worship and life lessons, all through a biblical worldview. “I aim to help each player develop not just as an athlete, but for them to grow in their relationship with Jesus,” she added.

Looking Forward

As Coach Willow steps into her new role, she brings with her a vision of building a strong, cohesive team that excels on and off the court. Her experience as an athlete and coach, combined with her academic background and faith in Christ, make her uniquely suited to lead Spurgeon College women’s volleyball team into its next chapter.

She said, “I am looking forward to getting on campus and getting to know the girls better, along with the entire Spurgeon College family, and continuing the work of Coach Stanton. My prayer for these girls would be for them to graduate knowing Jesus better, while also knowing how to read the Word and create a healthy prayer life.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Willow to our community,” said Matt Risher, athletic director at Spurgeon College. “Her impressive track record, both as an athlete and a coach, along with her commitment to Christ and education, make her an ideal fit for Spurgeon College. We look forward to seeing the positive impact she will have on our volleyball program and our student-athletes.”