When Annie Adamczak-Glavan was 13 she carried around her birth certificate.

With eight brothers, a propensity for tomboyish behavior and the ability to obliterate all comers in athletics, there were doubts about her gender.

"I had to prove myself, that I was a girl," Adamczak-Glavan said.

And if she had to fight to prove herself, she expected the same from those around her.

"I hung up on college coaches recruiting me. I told officials they don't know how to do their job. I yelled at opposing coaches when I was 17," she recalled. "I just demanded a high level of expertise in competition and everybody needs to get on board."

She has always been high level. Winning five state titles in basketball, softball and volleyball at Moose Lake, earning first team All-America in volleyball at Nebraska before a lengthy career as a volleyball coach that she practices today as the director of Club 43.

As importantly, Adamczak-Glavan took what she learned in sports and applied it to her family. When her son Matthew was born, she was told he had cerebral palsy, would never walk or talk and would live in a group home. She refused to adhere to that plan.

"There was a lot of things that were borderline child abuse," she said matter-of-factly. "But I'm not giving up on you."

Annie taught Matthew to walk and talk and he is now completely fluent in American sign language and graduated from Augsburg in 2021.

"I was a completely different coach before Matthew than I was after Matthew," she said. "I was good but I didn't have that key element of patience, and that everyone is valued."

She has spent her life coaching young women, including her daughters Elizabeth and Kate who went onto college careers, and believes sports is foundational.

"This has to be about life lessons, overcoming adversity, being a strong, independent girl" Annie said. "That's kind of how I live my life, and that's how I coach them."

Those lessons were never more important than at the start of the pandemic in 2020 when her husband, Mike, collapsed, near death, in the entryway of their home. Annie performed CPR and brought him back to life while her children watched on FaceTime. Screaming.

"I'm like, shut up! Mom's got this!" she recalled. "I'm telling them to calm down, doing CPR, answering the door. And not once, I'm telling you, not once did I panic."

The story made Annie recall a quote the legendary Nebraska volleyball coach Terry Pettit said about her during her playing career: "If I had to go to war and be in the trenches with one player to come out alive, it would be Annie Adamczak."

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the first name of Annie Adamczak-Glavan's daughter Elizabeth.