For seven of the past nine years, Warner has not only been a teacher in the classroom, he’s been an assistant coach for three different prep sports.
He even serves on the Nickelsville Town Council after being elected on a last-minute write-in campaign by some of his family members in May.
Warner is hoping his enthusiasm and energy are an example to his players as he begins he first year as head coach of the football program at his high school alma mater.
“I’m home,” he said Wednesday as he spoke to media members in the hallways of Twin Springs High School. “It’s something that I’ve always dreamed about, being from here, playing here.
“I had a great opportunity to go away and learn a lot and to really broaden my football mind. Being around every sport when I was at Gate City was a tremendous blessing.
“I’m happy to be home. The community is very supportive. The parents, the kids. Everything I’ve asked they’ve really bought into.”
Warner was a three-sport star at Twin Springs from 2002 to 2006.
On the football field, he was moved into the quarterback position as a freshman after the Titans starting quarterback was injured.
“Somehow I got stuck in there and I stayed there,” Warner recalled.
After his team went 1-9 in his freshman year, Twin Springs made back-to-back trips to the regional championship in his sophomore and junior years.
Warner played basketball on the collegiate level at Ferrum and Alice Lloyd, where he learned more about coaching.
“In football today, I still use those things I learned from my college coaches and my high school coaches in every sport,” said Warner.
Warner spent his last six years as an assistant coach in a variety of sports at Gate City.
“They’re one of my biggest supporters. When I told them I wanted to come and try this head coaching thing out, they were very supportive. I still get calls and texts today from that community. I’m very blessed that they were that supportive,” he said.
BUILDING A PROGRAM
Warner’s roster lists only 21 football players for the Titans this season, with several inexperienced players. He said he knows while it may take time, the enthusiasm is there to build a program.
“It’s nothing that can’t be fixed,” Warner said. “We’re just coming in and want to show them that we’re glad to be here and we want to be here and just build on the fundamentals, and the rest of it will take care of itself.
“It’s going to be fun, and it’s going to be a challenge. But I’m up for the challenge, and I’m excited,” said Warner. “And these kids know that we’re here for them, and that’s what matters.”