High School Volleyball

Former Grapevine coach makes statement after her resignation from alma mater Amarillo

Kori Cooper Clements
Kori Cooper Clements

Kori (Cooper) Clements shocked the volleyball world on Wednesday after she announced her resignation as Amarillo head coach after one season.

Clements, who graduated from Amarillo, led the Sandies to a 33-14 record and trip to the 5A Region I tournament, but expressed a lack of support from athletic, campus and district administrators.

“For a variety of reasons, I have recently resigned from my position as AHS volleyball coach, effective at the end of my contract. I want to be clear, I have not violated any district or UIL standards, and have upheld the teacher code of ethics at all times,” Clements said in a post tweeted out by Amarillo Globe sports reporter Kale Steed.

Clements stated that playing time decisions are always difficult for a coach and she didn’t get support from administrators, which told her “she needed to recognize the political aspect of her job and also of theirs.”

“I cannot and will not compromise the integrity of my decisions based on a parent’s political pressure or position. I believe strongly in the value of athletics, that being a part of a team is a privilege, and playing time is earned. I’m hopeful that AISD will be able to hire an experienced coach with the courage to make the tough playing time decisions and the technical expertise to push our returning players,” Clements said.

It surprised many because Clements not only is a terrific head coach — she’s 141-57 in four seasons with Amarillo, Cedar Park and Grapevine — but she was one of the best volleyball players to play at Amarillo, where she graduated in 2005.

Upon her announcement, Clements received an out-pour of support from the sports community, most notably for standing up, speaking out and sticking with what she believes in.

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Clements, who played for legendary coach Jan Barker, went on to play four years at Nebraska, where she earned multiple All-Big 12 First Team, All-Region and Academic All-Big 12 awards while helping the Cornhuskers to the 2006 National Championship.

She returned to Amarillo as an assistant coach in 2012 as the Sandies won the Class 4A state title in 2013. She was hired at Grapevine and coached the Mustangs to a 66-31 record in two seasons. The Mustangs won two district titles and reached the 5A Region I final in 2015.

Clements coached at Cedar Park for one season, leading the Timberwolves to the 5A state title game in 2016, losing 3-1 to none other than Barker and the Sandies. Cedar Park went 42-12. Clements went to Texas Tech to become Director of Volleyball Operations in 2017 before taking over for Barker — after 31 seasons, 10 state titles and 1,116 wins — in 2018.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.
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