That was fast! After only ten days of searching, Josh Whitman has found a new head coach for Fighting Illini volleyball. The university announced the hiring of Nebraska assistant Chris Tamas on Friday morning, and pending approval from the Board of Trustees, he’ll be the eighth coach in program history. Tamas replaces Kevin Hambly, who recently ended a marvelous tenure in Champaign to take the Stanford job.
Tamas has nine years of coaching experience under his belt, including two seasons at Nebraska, two seasons at Cal-Poly, two seasons at Minnesota, and two seasons at UC-Riverside.
Tamas played collegiately at the University of the Pacific, where he was a four-year starter and unanimous AVCA All-American First Team selection (2003) for the Tigers. Tamas’ playing career also featured 34 appearances with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Statement from Josh Whitman
“As expected, our coaching opportunity attracted widespread interest from coaches across the country, including many sitting head coaches. Chris stood out immediately. His breadth of experience as both a player and coach, his commitment to the personal growth and development of our student-athletes, his work ethic, and his fierce competitiveness are compelling. He has learned from some of the best coaches in the game, both collegiately and internationally, and we are excited for him to make his mark on Illinois volleyball.”
Statement from Chris Tamas
“My family and I are extremely excited about the opportunity to coach at the University of Illinois. Huff Hall is one of the outstanding volleyball venues in the nation, and I’ve always thought the Spike Squad was awesome. Illinois has traditionally been one of the elite programs in the country and the Big Ten Conference is the premier volleyball league in the nation. I can’t wait to work with our team and prepare to compete against the best. I’ve seen this team play for the past two seasons and I’m excited with the level of talent we have and at the talent coming in. We look forward to hitting the ground running.”