Lynsey Warren assumed the role of head coach at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio, before the start of the 2012-13 season. In her fourth season at ODU, Warren guided the Panthers to a 20-9 record. The Panthers also made an appearance in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, the first in program history.
Tell us a little about your background?
I am from Columbus, Ohio, and attended Bishop Watterson High School. I was blessed to continue both my basketball and volleyball careers and became a collegiate athlete at Ashland University (NCAA Division II). After graduation I became a graduate assistant coach at Ashland while I pursued my Master of Education in Sports Science. From Ashland I went to Kenyon College (NCAA Division III) and spent one season as the assistant coach. Family is exceptionally important to me and I wanted to be closer to home — the assistant coach position became open at Ohio Dominican University (NCAA Division II) and I knew I wanted to be there. I joined the staff in 2011-12 and spent one year as the assistant coach. I then found myself in a unique situation at the age of 25 — my head coach was retiring and I was passionate about Ohio Dominican. I applied for the head coach position and was hired shortly after my 26th birthday. I will enter my fifth year as a head coach this upcoming season.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend as much time as I can with my family and friends! We go to lots of sporting events together — Columbus Clippers (baseball), Columbus Blue Jackets (hockey), and Columbus Crew (soccer) games — spend time at my aunt’s pool and enjoy going out to dinner in the Short North (a neighborhood north of downtown Columbus). I also love to read and workout!
When did you know you wanted to be a coach?
When I got my head coaching position. I know that seems a little backwards — as an assistant coach I believed I wanted to pursue coaching as my career, but I was not 100 percent sure. Once I became a head coach it confirmed my passion for coaching and it became clear that it is God’s plan for my life.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I spend 30 minutes alone for mental preparation. I go through the pregame talk, our game plan, potential substitution patterns, end of game situations, etc.
What is/are the most challenging part(s) of your role?
At the NCAA Division II level we must find unique and lasting ways to fundraise for our program. I believe in providing my student-athletes with the best experience possible — fun trips, cool gear and making lifelong memories. Unfortunately, it takes a good amount of finances to do all of that. Fundraising is the most challenging part of my job because it is always necessary, is never ending, and is essential to providing a great experience.
How do you work through these challenges?
I surround myself with wonderful people who are committed to our fundraising goals and help in any way possible!
Briefly state your coaching philosophy. What values are important to you that you try to instill in your student-athletes?
Family. Faith. Hard Work. These three words are the pillars of my program at ODU. I also place an emphasis on communication, trust, respect, preparation and development. Each word in my philosophy is an action word. It must be lived every single day! My staff and I believe in investing in our players. We want to prepare them to be the best person and best athlete they can be while in our care, but, more importantly, have the tools to excel in the next chapters of their lives.
What is your favorite memory in your current coaching role thus far?
When my players won’t leave my house when we have a cookout! I love that we have created a family environment where our players, coaching staff, managers and support staff truly love spending time together. It has been fun to watch the program transition from “eat and run” to “do we have to leave?”
What does it mean to you to be recognized as a WBCA “Thirty Under 30” honoree?
I am thrilled that the WBCA has created this honor. There are so many striving young coaches making a positive impact on the game. It is awesome to witness and to learn from their examples. I am in awe that my name has been included with such successful and talented people. I owe it all to my sports information director for putting me out there, and to my staff and players for making me better every day. I am truly honored to be a part of this group.
The WBCA recognizes annually the WBCA's Thirty Under 30 recipients. This recognition was created to honor thirty of the up-and-coming women's basketball coaches age 30 and under in the sport at all levels of the game. For more information on the award, click here.