Olivet adds JV volleyball; Ward set to coach
Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 at 2:11 PM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Olivet Nazarene University volleyball coach Brenda Williams is pleased to announce that beginning in the fall of 2013 the Tigers volleyball program will be adding a junior varsity team. She is also excited to announce that Luke Ward has agreed to stay with the program as a graduate assistant and will be primarily responsible for the new team.
"We haven't had a JV team since my first year here at ONU in 1996. We ended up hosting the NAIA National Tournament in 1997 and 1998 and did not have the time or staff to continue having the JV team while hosting the tournament,” explained Williams. “We also found with the lack of gym space at that time it was going to be difficult to have a JV team but now with the new recreation center freeing up more space for intramurals and athletics we felt it was time to bring it back.”
Ward, an Olivet alum (09’), joined the Tiger coaching staff in 2012 as a stipend assistant. He has been on staff for a variety of volleyball clubs, skill clinics, and recreational sports camps varying in skills and ages. He was the volleyball director at High-Five Sports Camp in Chicago, Illinois in the summer of 05’ and 07’. In 2008, Luke began coaching for Competitive Edge Volleyball Club in Bourbonnais, Illinois, and in 2011 was asked to Coach the 18-Elite team for UNO South Volleyball Club in Kankakee, Illinois. Luke was also the 7th/8th Grade Volleyball Coach for St. George CCSD #258 in 2010-2011, and was the 7th grade Coach for Glenn Raymond in Watseka, Illinois in 2011-2012. He continues to help with local high school teams through coaching at camps and practices, and is looking forward to coaching 8th Grade for the 2012-2013 school year in Watseka. Luke has also been a head clinician the past four years at the ONU Summer Volleyball Camps.
A three years varsity letter winner at Whitney Young High School in Chicago, Ward was elected to the Chicago Sun-Times All-City Team in 2005. Ward was a four-year starter on the ONU men’s club volleyball team. His senior year, he was responsible for running practices and coordinating game times and schedules.
Ward earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in health. He is currently employed as a physical education and health teacher for Watseka Schools in Watseka, Illinois. He resides in Kankakee with wife, Erin, and their adorable 2 year old son, Nolan.
“We will have a shortened season going through mid-October playing other four-year institutions with JV teams and two year colleges,” continued Williams. “We feel this will give us much needed depth and a chance to train more players as Coach Hodge has done for years in men's basketball. We just want it to be a positive experience for everyone involved"