Cornerstone University is a community built by people with so many different interests, whether in academics, service or athletics. However, the one thing they all have in common is a foundation of faith that is solidified by our fantastic selection of leaders across campus.

In an effort to continue this growth in athletics, Cornerstone is committed to hiring coaches who are passionate about shaping students as athletes who follow Christ. One of these coaches is Kelsey Kooistra, who was hired this year as the new head coach for softball.

From Student To Teacher

As a former student-athlete at Indiana Wesleyan University, Kelsey found her path to coaching through her own love of sports. She played a few different sports in her high school years but decided to give her full commitment to softball while in college.

After graduating in 2018 with a degree in mathematics education, Kelsey split her time between teaching and coaching at the high school and middle school level. During that time, she found that there is a unique relationship between a coach and their team that can sometimes be more open than that of a teacher and their students. While coaching, she really got to be a part of students’ passion for their sport.

“I have so much joy when it comes from softball, so to show it in coaching and see it reciprocated is really cool,” Kelsey said.

Having grown up in the Grand Rapids area, Kelsey was familiar with Cornerstone, so when God called her here, she was excited to follow his lead.

College Athletics

College marks an important transition for students. It’s a time to prepare for the next chapter of their adult lives and for their future careers, but the lessons they learn in college will impact them both inside and outside the workplace. Kelsey is looking forward to walking alongside students and being part of their journey of growth.

Athletics at a Christian university have so much potential to be an example of Christ’s love.

“Faith has to be the core [of athletics],” said Kelsey. “It should be set as the foundation, and everything we do should be because of it.”

It is important to Kelsey that God be at the center of it all, and that is why she has already started doing devotions with her softball team. Kelsey hopes her team can learn from a variety of people and their experiences and has already been able to bring in some other coaches as well as Cornerstone’s athletic director to share their stories.

“I hope to bring in [more] people that I think could speak truth into the lives of my athletes,” said Kelsey.

Athletics can be so much more than the thrill of the games or even winning. As disciples of Christ, Cornerstone’s student-athletes are called and equipped to model how sports can be filled with God’s love, win or lose.

The College Search For Student-Athletes

Kelsey has some advice to share for high school student-athletes currently searching for their future college.

“Find a school that you love regardless of the sport,” said Kelsey. “If you change your mind about the sport, you are still at the school you love. You are here for an education. It’s your degree and time at the university that really matters. You want to make sure the school is a good fit for you.”

If you have a chance to talk to the coaches at a school, ask questions.

“As coaches, we want to get to know you,” Kelsey said. “We want you to ask us questions.”

If you are interested in checking out athletics at Cornerstone, take a moment to look at our athletic recruitment forms to start getting some information about our programs and scholarships. You can also come visit us or apply today.