Former UI assistant says enough's enough

Former UI assistant says enough's enough

No one knows the rigors of running a big-time Division I volleyball program better than former Illini assistant Anne Kordes.

The University of Louisville head coach, who went 130-60 during her six years there, stepped down at the end of the 2016 season to spend more time with her daughter, now 3.

"I missed every swim lesson last year. I missed two out of three birthdays so far," Kordes said. She loved her job but said the intensity of recruiting "is at an all-time high."

Kordes now runs an indoor club volleyball facility with her father, legendary high school coach Ron Kordes. One of her players, a talented 15-year-old, is already getting 30 recruiting emails a day. Some coaches have contacted Kordes to ask why the girl hasn't replied, and one wanted to set up a time to talk to her every two weeks at 8 p.m.

"She doesn't even know what's going on," Kordes said. "Her parents don't know what to do. I don't know how to tell people she has two hours of homework every night."

Like other coaches, she spent more than her share of weekends on the road, watching other people's children play volleyball. Even when she wasn't traveling, she was "handcuffed" to recruiting. Coaches can't call players, but if a recruit called her — during dinner or when she was reading to her daughter — she had to take it.

She loved the competitive aspects of the game and recruiting. Her 3-year-old was born on a Monday night and she coached a game that Friday.

"I felt like if I could stand, I could coach," she said.

But the breaking point came last summer. A big-time recruit from California decided to visit Louisville on the same weekend that Kordes, a single mother, had planned to take her daughter to a birthday party at the pool. She asked someone else to take her instead and spent seven hours with the recruit. Three weeks later, the girl committed to another school.

"That time was probably it for me," she said.

Women can do it, Kordes said, and she doesn't want to be "a mouthpiece for women getting out. We need women coaches. I think it just takes a really good system of family."