Illinois volleyball's Hambly leaving to take Stanford head coaching job

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Offline Hawk

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We cant even keep our volleyball coaches here when they have success....


178-86 over Hambly's 8 seasons in Champaign, including 6 Sweet Sixteen appearances and a 2011 NCAA Runner-Up finish.

http://dailyillini.com/sports/2017/01/30/illinois-volleyballs-hambly-leaving-take-stanford-head-coaching-job/

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/illini-sports/recruiting/2017-01-30/hambly-leaving-illinois.html
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 03:02:58 PM by Hawk »
If you don't read the papers you're uninformed. If you do read them, you're misinformed - Mark Twain

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Offline illiniman94

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Re: Illinois volleyball's Hambly leaving to take Stanford head coaching job
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 06:57:36 PM »
Let's see.   If money is the same or better adjusting for COL, Champbana or Bay Area with a perennial top program?   I can definitely see why the coach left. The articles also say that he was a Simi Valley native so it makes a lot of sense.

Sorry to lose him (JW already found his replacement BTW) but I wish him well.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 07:44:59 PM by illiniman94 »

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Offline MrGuy

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Re: Illinois volleyball's Hambly leaving to take Stanford head coaching job
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 06:55:26 PM »
I've been meaning to post on this for awhile but life has had me occupied. Sorry for the length, wanted to give all my thoughts.

I am not sure there was anything we could do to have kept Hambly. He said in an interview that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you can't turn down. Like Iman said, he was from California originally and has family there. Also, in volleyball, Stanford is essentially Duke. They are tied with Penn St for most NCAA titles and won it last year with a group of freshman so are stacked for the future. The place recruits itself. I felt at the time it was bad timing but there was a definite silver lining. I noted in the season wrap-up that I felt a coaching change could happen in the future because I felt like we were not seeing results despite the talent we have. I admit though when I heard the news I thought "careful what you wish for". I really don't know that much so I went and found some VB boards and most said that Hambly is a very good recruiter but not considered the best technical coach. He is a player's coach first and very popular with them but his teams seem to lack a killer instinct and appear a little indifferent to losing. Watching the team since 2011, this sounds right. Also, several of the stanford fans were not that enthusiastic and supposedly he wasn't the first choice. All of this is not to knock the guy just saying it wasn't as bad as it sounded. Definitely appreciate all he accomplished here. Also FWIW, supposedly Whitman offered him significant more money than what we were paying to stay. 

On the new coach, I have to say one thing: JW is awesome. He went and got  an EXCELLENT replacement, one with potential to be even better than what we lost. Tamas was the head assistant at Nebraska, one of the best programs in the country and which won the title the year before last plus was rated number 1 all this year but just ran out of steam in the final 4. He has very good technical ability and is a decent recruiter. Also it is a two-fer as his wife is also a star former player and seen as a really good assistant/recruiter. Most people agreed that it is a home run hire or the very lest off the wall triple. Only knock on him is that we may just be renting him as he is an up and comer so if we have a lot of success, he may bolt for a bigger program. I think he is from another state as well. I was just a tiny disappointed because really wanted a sure-fire HC as opposed to an assistant. The guy at Minnesota would have been ideal, but that was impossible as supposedly he turned down Stanford (he seemed to be their number one choice) or maybe the coach at Creighton. But I am very happy and excited with this hire. Going to need it as the Big Ten is a meat grinder of a conference, far and away the hardest one to compete in.

The best thing, this gives me more confidence in Whitman. He now has made two excellent hires. I should note a lot of people on the vb boards doubted we could get Tamas. There were a lot of questions whether JW would have the money given the hires in FB and coming for BB. Also had some serious competition as another big time job opened recently in Hawaii. This is also JW's first non-revenue hire so good to see he cares about all the sports. He has been seen at almost every home vb games as well, which is nice. I feel better about our chances of getting a good basketball coach.

Ironically, the basketball hire is just as important for volleyball team as it is for basketball itself. Volleyball and the other non-revenue sports needs one of the revenue sports to improve so the overall department's finances can get better. If you look at the Illinois athletic revenue in the USA today database, we are 36th nationally, and 11 out of 13 in the big ten (NW is private and doesn't list their finances). I was surprised when someone said we probably couldn't afford to hire away the Iowa St coach so looked it up and found we weren't that far ahead of them. The good news is the Big Ten signed a new TV contract to make it the highest paid conference in the country (for now), something like $45 million per year. Just from like 2011 to 2017-2018, that is an increase of $22 million. Going to need that $$ to get a good basketball coach and move up the ladder a bit. VB needs some investment to improve Huff Hall, especially the locker room supposedly. They have made some improvements with a new floor and better seating. Also may need to hire some new assistants as supposedly one of our best is bolting with Hambly.

Anyway, as long as we can keep who we have here and the incoming recruits, we should be good. We have a great class coming in and some very good players already. Note in VB like a lot of non-revenue sports,  unlike mens bb and fb, players don't have to sit out a year when they transfer and are very common. If he can keep everybody, then we have a bright immediate future as well as a promising long term one as well.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 07:07:54 PM by MrGuy »

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Offline illiniman94

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Re: Illinois volleyball's Hambly leaving to take Stanford head coaching job
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 09:24:01 PM »
Great post MrGuy.  Thanks for the perspective on the Vball program and the part about the non revenue programs needing the revenue programs to step up due to finances makes a lot of sense.