Assistant Volleyball Coach Jen Oldenburg Resigns after Nine Seasons
Dec. 21, 2012
Champaign, Ill. - Assistant Coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg has announced her resignation after spending nine seasons with the Fighting Illini volleyball program. Oldenburg, who is expecting her second child this March, has decided to leave the work force in order to devote more time to her family.
"I feel very fortunate that I have been able to work at the University of Illinois and with the volleyball program for the last nine years," Oldenburg said. "While this was a hard decision in many ways, I'm looking forward to being able to spend more time with my family. I want to thank our staff, players, administration and community for the support they have shown during my career and throughout this decision. A special thanks to Kevin Hambly for the mentorship and friendship he has provided. This program is destined for great things. Although I won't be a part of the day-to-day, I look forward to following the team's success."
Oldenburg has assisted in all aspects of the program during her tenure at Illinois, focusing on recruiting, on-court training, travel and summer camps while serving as the compliance, equipment and facilities liaison. Her work with the team's serving and passing as well as the defensive specialists was instrumental in leading the Illini to four-straight Sweet Sixteen appearances and the NCAA runner-up finish in 2011. A talented setter in her playing career, she has shared her setting expertise with the Orange and Blue, working directly with the setters on a daily basis.
"It was really difficult to hear that Jen was leaving," said Head Coach Kevin Hambly, "but I understand all of her reasons for it and I'm excited for her new direction. Jen and I have been through everything together since we've been at Illinois, and it's been a great run. Illinois volleyball will change because she's not a part of it, and Illinois volleyball has changed because she was. To have her leave the program, personally, it's going to be really difficult, and it's going to be really tough to replace her."
In her nine seasons at Illinois, the Orange and Blue have participated in five NCAA Tournaments, advanced to four Sweet Sixteens, captured four top-three Big Ten finishes, and played in the 2011 NCAA Championship match. Five of her players have earned All-America honors, and nine different players have earned 13 First-Team All-Big Ten honors.
"Flynn is an incredible person and words can't describe how honored I am to have played for her and now worked with her," said volunteer assistant and two-time All-American Laura DeBruler. "She has made an undeniable impact on me and on Illinois volleyball, and I'm sure she will be greatly missed."
A four-year player for Ohio State from 1996-99, Oldenburg helped lead the Buckeyes to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was a four-time Ohio State scholar athlete. To this day, she remains the only conference player ever to be named All-Big Ten at two different positions (setter and outside hitter), and ranks sixth in OSU history in assists (3,213), ninth in digs (1,138) and 14th in blocks (272).
Following her undergraduate career, Oldenburg went on to be the starting setter for the USA National Team and led the Americans to the silver medal at the 2002 World Championships. Additionally, she started for the Grand Rapids Force (USPV) and played on the USPV "Dream Team," starting at setter for the Millennium Cup Champion USPV All-Stars, where she was named to the all-tournament team.
A 2001 graduate of Ohio State with a bachelor's degree in sports and leisure studies, she spent the 2001 season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Buckeyes. She also worked for the elementary school system in Rockford, Mich., before joining the Illinois volleyball staff in 2004.