LINCOLN — The Nebraska volleyball program’s newest assistant coaching hire brings a former Big Ten coach back to the Midwest and will give the Huskers a pair of assistants in one move, both with decorated playing careers.
NU head coach John Cook announced Thursday that he has hired Cal Poly assistant Chris Tamas as Nebraska’s newest assistant coach, replacing Dan Meske, who is leaving to become head coach at Augustana (South Dakota). Nebraska also added his wife, Jennifer Tamas, as a volunteer assistant.
A Nebraska release announcing the hire said Chris Tamas will take on Meske’s responsibilities of working with NU’s middle blockers, coordinating block and floor defense and compiling scouting reports.
“I have been fortunate enough to travel the world through my playing and coaching career — from the collegiate to the national and professional levels — and what the University of Nebraska does for the sport of volleyball is unrivaled,” Tamas said in a statement.
Tamas has spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Cal Poly after serving as an assistant at Minnesota from 2011-12. According to his Cal Poly bio, he also served as the Mustangs’ recruiting coordinator as the team went 21-34 over the previous two seasons.
“Going through the search process, we were really impressed with the quality of candidates interested in Nebraska volleyball,” Cook said in a release. “Chris really stood out to us because of his playing experience with the U.S. National Team and that he’s played under some great coaches.”
In two seasons at Minnesota, Tamas coached on teams that reached the sweet 16 in 2011 and the elite eight in 2012. He primarily coached setters and also coordinated scouting opponents. Cook said Tamas’ knowledge of the conference will be a boost to NU’s preparation.
“He has been in the Big Ten, so he’s familiar with the conference and what it takes to compete at this level,” Cook said.
Tamas was a former captain of the U.S. men’s national team and had a four-year starting career as a setter at Pacific. He played professionally for six years internationally.
Cook also said gaining Jennifer (Joines) Tamas as a volunteer assistant was a coup as Nebraska adds another coach with a celebrated playing background. She was a four-time All-America middle blocker at Pacific and earned a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics as a member of the U.S. national team.
“I coached Jen on two USA teams previously, and she’s very good friends with Jordan Larson-Burbach and Nancy Metcalf (Meendering),” Cook said. “She’s interested in coaching now that she’s retired from playing professionally. Jen and Chris together are going to make a very big impact on our program.”
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