Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook has named former Husker libero Kayla Banwarth as the new assistant coach following the departure of Dani Busboom Kelly. Kelly, another former Husker player, became head coach at Louisville back in November.
“Whenever I have a chance to hire a former player to coach at Nebraska volleyball, it’s something I strongly consider because they understand what this program is about,” Cook said. “Kayla’s strengths are her journey to Nebraska as a walk-on, having a great career at Nebraska and going on to beat out all the other liberos in the United States to become one of the top liberos in the world. I know Kayla has limited coaching experience at the collegiate level, but her strengths will allow her to develop quickly and take over Dani’s role in recruiting and coaching our liberos and passers.”
Banwarth received All-Big 12 honorable mention her junior and senior year as the libero at Nebraska. She led the Huskers to three Big 12 titles and an NCAA Semifinal appearance in 2008. Banwarth was also the career leader in digs until this season when Justine Wong-Orantes surpassed her.
“I am extremely honored to rejoin the Nebraska volleyball program as a coach,” Banwarth said. “I want to thank Coach Cook and the rest of the staff for this opportunity. I look forward to learning and growing both as a coach and a person. It’s great to be back in Lincoln.”
After her time with the Huskers, Banwarth helped team USA win gold at both the 2015 NORCECA Championship and the FIVB World Grand Prix in 2016. She also was a volunteer coach for the Pepperdine men's volleyball team.
“I really like the fact that while Kayla was training with the U.S. National Team, she found the time to volunteer coach for the Pepperdine men’s volleyball team," Cook said. "So not only did she play at Nebraska and for Team USA, she gained experience under Karch Kiraly and Marv Dunphy, two of the best coaches in the United States.”