EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE Athletics announced Monday that Kendall Paulus has been named the head coach of the volleyball program. In the midst of posting a highly-successful 2017 regular season as the acting head coach, today's announcement removes the "acting" portion from her title, effective immediately.
SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt also said Associate Head Coach Luke Young will remain with the program in the same role.
"I could not be more honored to continue to represent SIUE as head volleyball coach," said Paulus. "I would like to specifically thank Dr. Hewitt, Chancellor Randy Pembrook and my sport administrator (Assistant AD for Compliance/Senior Woman Administrator) Katie Zingg for the opportunity to continue my career here. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support showed by the University, athletics administration, support staff and colleagues."
"This decision was based upon the quality of Kendall's superior performance," said Hewitt. "It is obvious that Ms. Paulus has stepped into a leadership role in the program and not only continued the success from last year but enhanced it."
The Cougars have flourished this season, having collected 21 wins with two matches left in the regular season. SIUE has guaranteed itself one of the top seeds for the upcoming Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
"We have a very hard-working, dedicated group of young women, and I owe them so much," said Paulus. "They embraced the opportunity to let myself and Associate Head Coach Luke Young lead them and we will be forever grateful for their commitment and loyalty."
Hewitt said he sought informal talks with alumni and current players regarding the team's dynamics and success before reaching this decision. All of the feedback came back overwhelmingly positive.
"Kendall understands our department culture and is actively engaged in supporting it," said Hewitt. "She has placed the student-athlete experience first and along the way has brought success on the court."
The current SIUE student-athletes were informed of the decision Monday.
"I'm very excited for this opportunity to keep working with Coach Paulus and Coach Young," said SIUE sophomore outside hitter Dylynn Otte. "I'm excited for them to be back. They have worked hard with us so it's going to be a good year and a good future."
"It is obvious that the department has engaged and embraced her leadership," noted Hewitt. "With the support provided by Associate Head Coach Luke Young, it truly was an easy decision to be able to move forward and offer her a permanent role."
SIUE volleyball closes out the regular season this weekend at Southeast Missouri in a 6:30 p.m. match Friday and at UT Martin in a 6:30 p.m. match Saturday.