Louisville native and former Cardinal volleyball star, Anne Kordes, was named the head volleyball coach at her alma mater, the University of Louisville in January of 2011. She is just the sixth head coach in the program's storied history and succeeds her collegiate coach, Leonid Yelin, who retired as U of L's winningest coach after a 15-year tenure.
"For Anne, we are so thrilled to welcome one of our own back. She has an excellent coaching pedigree and is well-known as a tireless recruiter. She took us to a conference championship and the Sweet Sixteen as our setter, she began her coaching career as an assistant in the Big Ten, and has taken Saint Louis to record heights as their head coach. I'm always looking for a good fit with any additions to our staff and this one's a natural."
In seven seasons at Saint Louis, Kordes led the Billiken volleyball program to unparalleled success, including three NCAA Tournament appearances. Her squad was selected as the "All-Sports Trophy Champion" as the top I-AAA women's volleyball program in the country by the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association in 2008. Individually, she is a three-time Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year, and in 2008 she garnered CVU.com (Collegiate Volleyball Update) National and AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year plaudits.
"I would like to thank Tom Jurich and Julie Hermann for this opportunity to head one of the best volleyball programs in the country," said Kordes. " I would like to thank Coach Yelin for his years of hard work and dedication to Cardinal volleyball that has positioned the program to take a shot at a national championship, which is my dream. The fact that my dream job is in my hometown is just icing on the cake, because we have top notch facilities, great administrative leadership located in a vibrant volleyball community that is incredibly supportive of our team."
In all, she coached 14 All-Conference first-team honorees, 13 AVCA All-Region picks, 13 A-10 All-Championship designees, seven conference All-Rookie selections, six Academic All-Conference honorees, two A-10 Rookie of the Year picks and two A-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player recipients. Her teams had a combined 59-10 league record over the past five seasons.
Kordes ranks among the elite coaches in the game. With a career record of 146-75 (.661), she is 41st on the Division I volleyball winningest active coaches list. Kordes, the only coach in SLU's program to lead her teams to four straight 20-win seasons, was the 2009 recipient of the Missouri Athletic Club's Carl O. Bauer Award. The award is presented annually to the top amateur sports figure in the St. Louis city area.
Kordes' teams have annually played some of the strongest schedules in the country. SLU finished the 2008 season No. 8 on the NCAA Women's Volleyball RPI, playing seven teams that finished among the RPI's top 25. The 2009 campaign saw the Billikens finish 27th in the RPI.
The Billikens are coming off a 19-win campaign in 2010 with signature wins against Wake Forest, Xavier and Utah. In 2009, SLU earned an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason ranking (No. 20) for the first time ever. In the 2009 season's opening weekend, a school-record 6,106 fans turned out for SLU's Active Ankle Challenge finale versus top-ranked and defending national champion Penn State. Over the next two weeks, the senior-laden Billikens battled four more teams ranked among the AVCA top 15, collecting a win over No. 10 California. Saint Louis earned the highest ranking in program history the following week, coming in at No. 16 on Sept. 7.
SLU rolled through its 2009 regular-season conference slate, amassing a 14-1 record to earn a share of the A-10 crown. The Billikens finished 24-8 overall, made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in four seasons after being awarded the program's first at-large bid in 2009. Kordes, Sammi McCloud and Whitney Roth swept A-10 Coach, Player and Setter of the Year laurels, respectively, for a second straight season.
Kordes' 2008 team finished 29-5 overall and enjoyed a historic campaign. Early in the season SLU upset No. 3 Stanford 3-1 and then broke into the Top 25 for the first time in program history on Oct. 20 in the 25th spot. The Bills remained in the Top 25 for the rest of the season, finishing at No. 21. Saint Louis put together a program-best 21-match winning streak that featured a 13-0 finish in the A-10 regular-season race and went on to capture the A-10 Championship and their second NCAA Tournament bid in three seasons. Thirteenth-seeded Saint Louis earned the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history, a 3-0 first-round win over Alabama A&M in Lexington, Ky.
In addition to their 2008 team successes, Kordes' players garnered numerous kudos. Topping the list of individual honors was the selection of four Billikens to the 2008 AVCA All-America teams and Kordes was named Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons. Roth picked up her second straight Setter of the Year accolade and McCloud became the first Billiken volleyball student-athlete to be selected Player of the Year. SLU had a league-record four players named to the A-10 first team.
In 2007, Sutton Lasater, McCloud and Roth were named to the All-Conference first team. Roth went on to garner A-10 Setter of the Year accolades.
The 2006 campaign featured a number of firsts as Kordes led the Billikens to a share of the A-10 regular-season crown, the program's first A-10 Championship title and SLU's first berth in the NCAA Tournament. Her peers recognized her performance by selecting her as the A-10 Coach of the Year.
In her first season at the helm of the Billiken program in 2004, the Bills finished with 15 wins, with one of the season's highlights occurring when the Billikens ended Cincinnati's 23-match home winning streak. Kordes also coached the first All-American in program history as Aida Antanaviciute earned AVCA honorable mention laurels.
"I would like to thank the athletic administration at Saint Louis for whole-heartedly supporting me as a first time head coach and doing everything within their power to help me take Billiken Volleyball to the next level," said Kordes. "I loved my time there."
Kordes began her coaching career in 1999 when Indiana hired her as an assistant coach. However, her stay in Bloomington was short-lived as she had an opportunity to take the recruiting position at the University of Illinois under former U of L head coach Don Hardin. Kordes then spent the next six seasons with the Fighting Illini, serving as the top assistant from 1999-2003 and coaching two All-Americans. During her stint, the Illini qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times and posted a 90-61 record. In 2003, Kordes helped them to a 26-7 record, the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and a No. 15 final ranking.
Kordes has exhibited leadership within the AVCA, where she is president-elect. She will be president for the 2012 season that will culminate at the Final Four which will be held in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center. From 2006-08, she was a member of the Northeast Region Ranking Committee and the region's All-America Committee. Kordes was named chair of the Northeast Region All-America Committee in 2009 and since then has been a member of the national All-America Committee. She is also a member of the newly formed AVCA Coaches for Coaches Committee.
Kordes has been visible on the national coaching scene, serving as a coach for USA Volleyball summer programs. In 2010, she was tabbed lead head coach for the U.S. Girls' Select A1 National Team, which competed at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships. She was an assistant coach for the USA Volleyball Girls' Youth National Team, which competed at the 2007 FIVB Girls' Youth National Championships in Baja California, Mexico.
In 2000, she was the assistant coach for the Youth National Team, and in 2001 she was an assistant for the Junior National Team. Kordes served as an assistant in 2002 and 2003 for the National A2 Collegiate Program. During the summer of 2003, she served as the assistant coach for the High Performance #2 team, the head coach for the High Performance #3 team and the head coach for the Youth National A3 team.
Kordes was the only college coach named as an assistant for the USA Junior National Team in 2004. She had an opportunity to coach some of the nation's best young players and accompanied the squad to an international tournament played in Ankara, Turkey, in 2005. Kordes was also tabbed an assistant coach in 2006 and 2009 for the USA Select Team. She helped with the team's training and competition at the USA High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kordes' pursuit of coaching was influenced by her father, Ron, who has coached at the grade school, high school and club levels in Louisville. He coached his daughter at Assumption High School before she moved on to the University of Cincinnati. Kordes was named the 1994 Great Midwest Conference Newcomer of the Year, set the league record for assists by a sophomore with 1,575 and was named second-team All-Conference USA. After a two-year stint with the Bearcats, she transferred to the University of Louisville.
As a senior, Kordes led Louisville to the C-USA Tournament championship and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals were ranked as high as No. 21 and finished with a 29-5 slate. She closed her career with 4,874 assists, 886 digs and 128 service aces and was a three-time All-Conference USA selection.
Not only was Kordes a standout athlete, but she also excelled in the classroom. She was a member of the Louisville Athletic Director's Honor Roll every semester and was a Red and Black Scholar-Athlete. Kordes was twice selected to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Kordes received her bachelor's degree in athletic administration from Louisville in 1998, and she earned a master's degree in athletic administration from Louisville in 2001.