Kansas volleyball head coach Ray Bechard has promoted director of operations Maggie (Anderson) Bowen to assistant coach for the 2018 season.
"With the comfort level that our staff and team have with Maggie, this will make for the best transition right now," Bechard said. "Maggie, having lived the culture that we are continuing to develop and maintain, is a great fit. With the passion, emotion, love she has for the university, our athletic department and volleyball program, she will do a great job this fall in helping this team and this program reach its goals."
Last season was Bowen's first as director of operations for the volleyball program and this fall will be the start of her seventh season overall with the Jayhawks and Coach Bechard. Between the start of her playing career as a setter in 2012 and her graduation in December 2016, Bowen experienced first-hand the transformation of KU volleyball to one of the nation's elite with yearly appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the program's first appearance in the Final Four in 2015 and an outright Big 12 title in 2016.
"Maggie has a good setting background and I know she will add a great voice of reason to everything we do," Bechard said. "She was a role player for us, but she was a prime-time player when it came to what a good teammate looked like and what we want the culture to continue to develop here looks like. Maggie can impact each and every one of our players at some level regardless of their position because of her exemplary personal traits she possesses."
Bowen's promotion to assistant coach comes after former assistant coach Kelly Files resigned for personal family reasons. Files coached the Jayhawks during the spring practices since her hiring in January 2018.
"Kelly is absolutely doing the right thing," Bechard said. "It was unfortunate that her time couldn't be longer with us, but when unpredictable family situations come up, we expect her to do what all of us should do -- create an opportunity for her family to be together and be the best they can be. We knew that she very much wanted to be here but her opportunity to get back to Norman (Oklahoma) so her family could be one unit was really, really important to her. She is a very, very quality person. I know she had an impact on our players and staff while she was here. It was a family decision for her to move back."
After a home exhibition contest on Aug. 18, the Jayhawks begin the 2018 regular season with a two-match series against Arkansas starting on Friday, Aug. 24 in Fayetteville, followed by KU's home opener against the Razorbacks on Sunday, Aug. 26 in Lawrence.