Volleyball lands new coach
With a 45-17 overall record, including 28-12 in NSIC play, Dan Meske was a successful Augustana women’s volleyball head coach.
Meske did so well at AU that he was offered a position as assistant head coach at the University of Louisville.
He took it.
The Augustana team was left to look for a new head coach as the team began its preseason workouts.
Associate Athletic Director Ann Traphagen said that interviewees were pulled from a nationwide applicant pool.
Monday, Jennifer Jacobs was announced as the new head coach.
As for expecations, Traphagen said: “We’re not looking for band-aids, we’re not looking for quick fixes, we’re looking long term.”
The new selection seems to be a good fit, according to the team.
“Right from the beginning, she was so personable,” said senior Bailey Koch. “She was outgoing and very open about what she wanted and where she saw our program going. It was refreshing to see how passionate she was about a team she was meeting for the first time.”
Finding the right fit for any team can be a daunting task, but it seems like the team has found someone to lead them into the next season.
“They all love her,” said Koch. “I think Coach Jen will come in and fill the role that all of us players dreamed of having in a coach in our college experience.
Junior libero Tahlyr Banks remembers the day the team found out Meske was leaving.
“It was finals week actually, ” Banks said. “We were all studying for our finals when we found out we didn’t have a coach anymore.”
She said it was emotional for the team since it had just gone through a coaching change two seasons before.
It was not an easy process for Meske either.
“It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” he said. “I still feel really connected to Augie, and I have a lot of pride for the program.”
Meske credits the current team members for the program’s improvement and believes they will keep excelling. “They’re some of the most incredible people you could ever meet,” Meske said.
Banks said the team had input on the selection of the coach. The athletic directors went through the applicants and the team met the top three candidates.
“I know a lot of schools that go through this process, the teams don’t get to be involved,” she said. “So we’re really lucky to get to be a part of it.”
“We had a lot of say and if we didn’t feel comfortable with any of the candidates, Slade and Ann were willing to keep the search going,” Koch said. “Our uperclassmen made sure to get a lot of input from the freshman because they ultimately will be here the longest.”
Banks believes that the team is “ready for someone with new ideas” to “take us to the next level.”