Champaign, Ill. (UI Release) - The University of Illinois Volleyball program announces the hiring of Johannah Bangert '11 as the new full-time Director of Volleyball Operations, effective immediately. Bangert, the Big Ten all-time blocking leader, returns to her alma mater after a season of playing professional volleyball in Sweden.
"Having Jo come back to be part of the program, it's exciting to me in a couple of ways," said Head Coach Kevin Hambly. "First, she's going to do a great job. Her personality and her skill set fit the job perfectly. She's eager to do it, and the things about the job excite her, which means that she'll excel.
"But on another level, it's great to have a former player be part of the program. She knows what it's like to be an Illinois athlete; she can help convey that message to the players. She knows what it's like to be around me, and can help me with the players as well. I'm very excited to see what she brings."
Bangert will perform several functions for the Illini coaching staff, including coordinating scheduling,assisting with visiting teams' travels to Champaign and compliance. She will serve as the marketing, equipment and event management liaison, while also working directly with the Illini Networkers, the volleyball booster club.
The Washington, Mo., native hadan illustrious career for the Fighting Illini from 2007-10, leading the Illini to the Sweet Sixteen and top-3 Big Ten finishes in each of her final three seasons. The 6-1 middle blocker broke the Big Ten career record for block assists, finishing with 613. Bangert led the nation in blocks in 2008 and 2009, earning Honorable Mention All-America honors in 2009. The following season, she became just the fourth Illini to be named CoSIDA Academic All-American, garnering first-team honors.
Following her career at Illinois, Bangert signed a professional volleyball contract with the Ljungby Volleyboll Klubb in Sweden, where she played in 2011-12.