Ex-Illini joins volleyball staff

Ex-Illini joins volleyball staff

CHAMPAIGN — Former Illinois All-American Johannah Bangert has returned to her alma mater as director of volleyball operations.

The UI announced Bangert’s appointment to the new full-time position, which is effective immediately, on Tuesday.

“Having Jo come back to be part of the program, it’s exciting to me in a couple of ways,” Illini coach Kevin Hambly said. “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’s areas of responsibility will include rules compliance, coordinating scheduling, and assisting with visiting teams’ travels to Champaign. The 2009 honorable mention All-American also will serve as the program’s liaison for marketing, equipment and event management.

As a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, Bangert led the nation in blocks per set in 2008 and ‘09. The 2009 honorable mention All-American holds Big Ten records for block assists for a career (613) and a season (195). She also ranks seventh in the conference in career total blocks (653) and ninth in season total blocks (202).

Following her Illini career, Bangert played professionally with the Ljungby Volleyboll Klubb in Sweden in 2011-12.