Nebraska volleyball has sent another assistant to the head-coaching ranks. Kayla Banwarth, the Huskers' libero coach and recruiting coordinator for the past three seasons, was announced as the new head coach at Mississippi on Saturday.
"I'm honored to be chosen as the next head coach for the Ole Miss volleyball program," Banwarth said. "I'd like to thank (Athletics Director) Keith (Carter), (Deputy A.D. for Sports and Administration) Lynnette (Johnson) and the rest of the administration for their hospitality and support. I look forward to being a part of the Rebel family and am excited to lead the volleyball team as we work to build a tradition of success. I also want to thank Coach Cook, the administration at Nebraska and the whole state and fan base for their support. I wouldn't have this amazing opportunity if it weren't for a lot of people who have been there for me throughout my career."
Banwarth walked on at Nebraska in 2007, earning the starting libero job midway through her freshman season. She would earn All-Big 12 honors twice and finished her career as the Huskers' all-time leader in digs before beginning a professional career. Banwarth was part of the 2016 Olympic team that took bronze in Brazil.
She began her coaching career on the men's side at Pepperdine in 2015. When assistant and fellow former Husker Dani Busboom Kelly took the head-coaching job at Louisville, Banwarth returned to Lincoln to fill her role. She joins Busboom Kelly and Chris Tamas, now at Illinois, as former Nebraska assistants who have recently taken over their own programs.
"I am pumped for Kayla and this opportunity for her to lead the Ole Miss program," Nebraska Coach John Cook said. "In her three years as a coach here, Kayla helped us win a Big Ten Championship and an NCAA Championship, and she played a huge role in coaching our liberos and helping our six-rotation hitters become great passers.
"She also did a tremendous job on the recruiting trail. Her story of going from a walk-on to a U.S. Olympic Team libero is an incredible one, and she will get to build on that legacy at Ole Miss. They are fortunate to land a talented up-and-coming coach like Kayla. We will work quickly to fill her position with the best candidate we can find for Husker volleyball."