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Tamas’ contract represents investment in Illinois volleyball

Illinois%27+athletic+director%2C+Josh+Whitman%2C+welcomes+Chris+Tamas+into+the+Illinois+family+as+the+new+head+coach+of+the+Women%27s+Volleyball+team+at+Biefeldt+Athletics+Administration+Building+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+10.
Illinois' athletic director, Josh Whitman, welcomes Chris Tamas into the Illinois family as the new head coach of the Women's Volleyball team at Biefeldt Athletics Administration Building on Friday, Feb. 10.

Illinois' athletic director, Josh Whitman, welcomes Chris Tamas into the Illinois family as the new head coach of the Women's Volleyball team at Biefeldt Athletics Administration Building on Friday, Feb. 10.

Elisabeth Neely

Elisabeth Neely

Illinois' athletic director, Josh Whitman, welcomes Chris Tamas into the Illinois family as the new head coach of the Women's Volleyball team at Biefeldt Athletics Administration Building on Friday, Feb. 10.

Jacob Diaz, Staff writer

Illinois’ Director of Athletics Josh Whitman was up front about the details of new head coach Chris Tamas’ contract during his introductory press conference Friday afternoon.

“It’s a five year contract, it starts at $300,000 per year.” Whitman said.

The contract represents a significant investment in the volleyball program; former head coach Kevin Hambly’s last contract extension only paid him $200,000 per year, and that was after he took the program to five Sweet 16s and a National Championship game. While Tamas won a National Championship at Nebraska, he has never been a head coach before.

While on the surface this may seem like a risky investment, Whitman pointed out that it was a product of Big Ten volleyball’s growth as a sport.

“It’s really incredible the way the (Big Ten volleyball) market has developed in the last few years,” Whitman said. “So now even at that dollar figure we’re still fifth or sixth in the Big Ten. The influx of resources from across the league happened very quickly, so we knew we needed to take a step forward in order to remain competitive in that front.”

In addition to the head coach position, the people Tamas picks as his assistants may also be due for an uptick in their pay grade.

Whitman stated that the budget for assistant coaches had not only been maintained from last season , but had been “augmented slightly.”

 

jvdiaz2@dailyillini.com

@Jacob_Diaz31

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