The Effects of having an Olympian as one of your Coaches

When it comes to good teams, never forget the coach’s job is just as important as the players playing in the game. Jen Tamas joining the Fighting Illini Women’s volleyball team alongside her husband Chris Tamas is the perfect example of that.

“Having Jen join the team four years ago truly is a blessing because she brings great energy to the team and brings the best out of them as well,” Chris Tamas. Not to mention, it adds another person who played this game at the college level alongside me, Coach Reed and Coach Sharping…. Plus, she is my wife which is a bonus to get to work with your spouse.”

Before Joining Illini coaching staff as a volunteer coach in 2017, the four-time All-American middle blocker was a volunteer coach at California Polytechnic State University from 2013-2014 and Nebraska from 2015-2017. Tamas became a silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics and A gold medalist at the 2012 Pan-American Cup. Tamas join describes the transition from playing to coaching exciting.

“I do enjoy coaching because I still get to be around the game that I love so much, even though I hung up the knee pads a long time ago. As a coach, I can honestly say I have learned so much more about this game now than when I was playing,” said Jen Tamas. “The girls on this team are competitors and I love the competitiveness in the teams. Me and Coach reed had jumped in there as well.”

The Fighting Illini Women’s Volleyball team started this year off with a 6-game win streak before losing to Wisconsin in 3 to 2 set. Illinois volleyball has been playing well the last few years being a top contender in the Big Ten Championships. Not to mention, Meghan Cooney and Kennedy Collins have been stepping up to fill the shoes of Jacqueline Quade in Illinois 6-game win streak. Cooney and Collins have broken their season high in kills and blocks this year as well.

“I love my job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love this being around this sport too much to not coach it,” said Jen Tamas