Amy McNew, left, and Amber Sillyman watch the 2009 volleyball district championship match at Liberty High School. McNew resigned Friday after one season as head coach.

Amy McNew was named the new Houston High School volleyball coach at Monday night’s board meeting.

McNew replaces longtime coach Debbie James, who retired in December. McNew was an assistant coach the past five years under James, who coached 15 years at Houston.

“Amy’s greatest strength as a coach is her ability to motivate,” James said. “She also brings great energy and enthusiasm to the volleyball program.”

McNew said it was an accurate description.

“I hope I motivate them and get the most out of them,” she said.

A Branson High School graduate, McNew was a four-year volleyball standout from 1990-’93 at Missouri State University. She was one of six athletes enshrined Feb. 6 into the MSU Hall of Fame.

McNew has been coordinating the team’s USVA practices and scheduling games since basketball season ended. She believes the Lady Tigers, who have had losing seasons the past three years, are close to turing things around.

“As far as athletic wise, we’re there,” McNew said. “We just have to learn to compete. We’re trying some different things to see if we can get that to come along — just compete and go back to enjoying the game.”

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