For The Glory Of God A distinctive Christ-centered education

Coaching Staff

Michael Browning- HS Baseball Coach

Coach Browning began coaching at Live Oak in the spring of 2023. He received his Bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University in 1979. Before retiring in 2016, he coached for 36 years at Seminole High School with 34 of those years as head baseball coach. He was also varsity football assistant coach for 33 years. He and wife Brenda have four grown children, all in education, and six grandchildren who keep them very busy. In addition to following local high school teams and college teams (Baylor and Texas Tech), he enjoys working in his yard and listening to music.


Kelly Combs- JH Boys’ Basketball Coach

“Coach K” began coaching at Live Oak in 2021 and has over 30 years of experience coaching basketball. He is also the Director of Basketball, Head Coach and Associate Director of Sports Reach Ministries. Since 2009 he has been the head coach for many international and domestic tour teams made up of college and pro athletes for Sports Reach and Athletes in Action. During this time he has coached teams and has conducted basketball camps and coaches’ clinics in Europe, Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, North America and Central America. Before going into full-time sports ministry, he spent 18 years coaching college basketball and 2 years coaching high school basketball in Kentucky. Coach K played high school and college basketball in Kentucky, and he was blessed to be the point guard at Kentucky Christian University when they won the 1989 National Championship. He is married to his high school sweetheart Jody (Ward) Combs. They love living in Waco and have four grown children.


Kyle Combs- Head HS Boys’ Basketball Coach

Coach Combs began teaching and coaching at Live Oak in 2020. Prior to his arrival at Live Oak, he worked for Baylor men’s basketball as a graduate assistant while earning a master’s degree in Sports Pedagogy. Coach Combs grew up in Kentucky and played basketball at Kentucky Christian University, completing degrees in Secondary Education (Social Studies and Biblical Studies). He stayed at his alma mater to coach for one season, making it to the NCCAA National Championship game. Coach Combs spends his summers working various basketball camps and traveling overseas with mission organizations such as Athletes in Action and Sports Reach. He and his wife Samantha love anything sports-related, food, travel, and their daughter, Kennedy.


Katy Cordell- Head HS Cheer/Dance Coach, JH Girls’ Basketball Coach

Coach Cordell has been the head cheer coach at Live Oak since 2020 and oversees all of the cheer and spirit programs at Live Oak. Coach Cordell is passionate about supporting the Falcon sports teams in fun and energetic ways and loves bringing joy, enthusiasm, and school spirit to our campus. Prior to joining the Live Oak family, she was the founder and executive director of an educational non-profit and a doula and childbirth educator for 10 years. Katy has a degree in business administration and manages the school’s Spirit Shop. She has one child in college (go Red Raiders!) and four children at Live Oak, and in her spare time she enjoys watching her kids play sports and listening to true crime podcasts.


Carl Flynn- HS Assistant Volleyball Coach

Carl Flynn has served as an assistant high school volleyball coach at Live Oak since 2013. He was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up in Southern California where his love for volleyball began and grew. He graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.S. in Public Relations (1992) and a Master of Divinity (1996). During his undergraduate and early graduate school days at Pepperdine, he was an assistant volleyball instructor, teaching beginning and advanced classes. He moved to Waco in 1996 to pursue a Ph.D. in Religion (Theology and Philosophy) at Baylor University and taught in the Religion Division at Pepperdine University (1997-2004). He returned to Waco in 2006 and currently serves at Baylor as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Information Technology and University Libraries. He is married to Chantal, who serves as the Operations Manager at Live Oak, and they have two children, Logan (a Live Oak graduate) and Mia (a Live Oak student). When he is not coaching or playing volleyball, you will find him preparing curriculum for the adult education ministry at Crestview church, watching movies with Chantal, spending time with Logan and Mia, reading, or listening to music.


Natalie Friesen- Head HS Volleyball Coach

Coach Friesen is originally from the north Houston area and began coaching and teaching at Live Oak in 2016. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University, where she received a B.S. in Education. Prior to teaching and coaching at Live Oak, Coach Friesen taught and coached in central Kansas. She is passionate about teamwork, fitness, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying nature. She is married to Scotty Friesen and they have two incredible children, Jesse and Marlow.


Scott Friesen- Head HS Boys’ Soccer Coach, HS Assistant Volleyball Coach

Coach Scotty Friesen moved to Waco with his wife Natalie in 2016. Prior to moving to Waco, he was an assistant soccer coach and resident hall director at Hesston College in Hesston, KS. Coach Friesen has a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies from LeTourneau University. Scotty also has experience assistant coaching volleyball at Hill College in Hillsboro, TX and as a Crossfit coach at a local gym. Scotty grew up in Peru where his parents are still serving as missionaries. Currently, Coach Friesen is working for the city of Waco as a firefighter.

Allie Gardell- JH Volleyball Coach, JH Track Coach

Coach Gardell began teaching and coaching at Live Oak in 2020. In addition to coaching junior high volleyball and junior high track, she teaches Logic and Rhetoric Math, Logic Bible, and also serves as the Logic & Rhetoric Student Activities Coordinator. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Baylor University in 2015 and a Master of Arts in Ministry degree from Portland Seminary in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship in 2022. She holds a Texas secondary certification in Mathematics. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, baking, and watching sports with her husband, Reese.


Brice Helton- Athletic Director, Head HS Football Coach, Head HS Track Coach

Coach Helton has been working at Live Oak since 2016. He is originally from El Paso, and continues his tour across Texas after stops in Lubbock and Dallas. He previously served at The Covenant School of Dallas for eleven years as the Athletic Director, Facilities Director, Head Football Coach, and Head Track Coach. He received his undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and his Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Brice has been working in athletics since 2005 including jobs with Texas Tech University and Kanakuk Kamps. He is married to Lauren and they have four beautiful daughters.


Steve Howard- Head HS Girls’ Basketball Coach, Head JH Football Coach, Assistant Track Coach

Coach Howard is in his 44th year of coaching and teaching in Texas. He is married to Karen, and they have three grown children and nine grandkids, five of whom attend Live Oak. Coach Howard loves to scuba dive, travel, and do anything sports-related. He loves Southern Gospel, traditional country, and bluegrass music. He also loves to read and study anything involving apologetics, early American Indian culture (specifically the Comanche and Apache people of the Texas Panhandle where he was raised), WWII, church history, and anything involving saving/spending/investing money. When he’s not coaching one of his many sports, you can find him on his tractor or tending to his cows.


Natasha Marcum- JH Cheer Coach

Natasha is from El Paso, Texas, where she grew up cheering competitively. She moved to Waco to attend Baylor University and graduated in 2021 with a degree in mechanical engineering. She works in Waco as a mechanical engineer and enjoys spending her free time coaching the junior high cheerleaders at Live Oak.


Ellen Ward- JH Volleyball Coach, HS Girls’ Basketball Assistant Coach

Coach Ward (“Ward”, as she is affectionally called by some of the girls) is from Iowa and has been coaching at Live Oak since 2021. She has a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Truman State University, enjoys being active any way she can, and loves hanging out with her two beautiful and sweet kids.


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