Illinois volleyball’s Hambly leaving to take Stanford head coaching job

Illinois+head+coach+Kevin+Hambly+talks+to+his+team+after+the+match+against+Northwestern+at+Huff+Hall+on+Saturday%2C+October+15.+The+Illini+won+3-0.
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Illinois volleyball’s Hambly leaving to take Stanford head coaching job

Illinois head coach Kevin Hambly talks to his team after the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

Illinois head coach Kevin Hambly talks to his team after the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

Austin Yattoni

Illinois head coach Kevin Hambly talks to his team after the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

Austin Yattoni

Austin Yattoni

Illinois head coach Kevin Hambly talks to his team after the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

By Mike Gasick, Assistant sports editor

After eight seasons as the Illinois volleyball coach, Kevin Hambly will be coaching at a different school next season.

Stanford’s Director of Athletics Bernard Muir announced Monday that Hambly will be its Director of Women’s Volleyball, meaning the school’s head coach.

“Leaving Illinois saddens me a great deal. I can’t even express how hard it is to leave these wonderful young women I got to coach every day,” Hambly said in an Illinois press release. “I feel like Mary and I have grown up as adults in Champaign. We will always be grateful we had this time here. It certainly shaped who I am as a man and a coach. Josh Whitman and Paul Kowalczyk were incredible through all of this process and I am glad Josh is the leader of the Illini. Leaving his leadership is as difficult as leaving the players. We will always be Illini!”

Hambly recorded a 178-86 record during his time at Illinois to go along with six NCAA regional appearances and a 2011 trip to the national title.

“Kevin Hambly has done an outstanding job leading our volleyball program to a position of national prominence during his eight years at the helm,” Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said in the same release. “He approached every day with passion, pride, and great integrity. His student-athletes performed as champions on the court, in the classroom, and in their respective lives. We will miss Kevin, Mary, and their daughters in our program and our community, and we wish them the best as they return to Kevin’s native California. Here, we look forward to identifying the next dynamic leader who will continue the program on its upward trajectory. We are excited to usher in a new championship era of Illinois Volleyball.”

The Simi Valley, California, native will take over for John Dunning, who announced his retirement from the Stanford volleyball program in January. The Cardinal won last year’s national championship.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be the head coach at Stanford,” Hambly in Stanford’s press release. “It is the premier university and athletics department in the country, and there was just no way I could pass it up. I am grateful to Bernard and Beth [Goode] for the work they put in and the time they took to help me understand more about Stanford, which made me that much more excited for the opportunity.”

Whitman tweeted that Illinois will now work on finding Hambly’s replacement with “Illini values.”

 

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