A three-time recipient of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 award, Coley (COAL ee) Pawlikowski is in her first season as an assistant coach at Wisconsin.
"I'm really happy that we'll have Coley joining us," says Waite. "She is one of the most energetic and talented young coaches in the country and I think she'll make a great impact on our program."
Pawlikowski (then Johnsen) was recruited to Northern Illinois by Waite but did not play under him since he was hired at the UW in 1999. A four-year letterwinner from 1999-2002, she was a three-year starter at defensive specialist for the Huskies. In 2001, Pawlikowski helped NIU win the MAC tournament and earn a spot in the NCAA tournament.
"I recruited her to NIU because she played with a great passion for the game and she had a great spirit about her," says Waite. "No one worked harder than Coley and I know she's going to bring that same attitude to Madison."
Pawlikowski coached at her alma mater, Northern Illinois University, for three seasons. As the Huskies recruiting coordinator, she helped turn around a 14-16 team in 2009 to a 28-7 team in 2011. NIU won the Mid-American Conference regular season title and qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2011.
Pawlikowski recruited the 2010 MAC Freshman and Player of the Year Lauren Wicinski. Wicinski earned AVCA honorable mention All-America honors as a freshman and third-team All-America honors as a sophomore. She was also named CVU.com's Freshman of the Year in 2010. Pawlikowski also coached the 2009 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, libero Maddie Hughes.
Because of her influence in the game of volleyball, Pawlikowski was named a recipient of the AVCA's Thirty Under 30 in 2012, 2011 and 2009. Established in 2009, the accolade was created to recognize the rising volleyball coaches under the age of 30.
"Coley has really raised the level of the programs where she has coached," says Waite. "She has also done a great job coaching teams in the Kane County Juniors program over the years. Coley knows how to find the best players and inspire them to reach their potential. She's gone about learning the craft the right way and is a tireless worker. I'm looking forward to having her here with us as a Badger."
As head coach of North Park University from 2006-08, Pawlikowski left her mark on the program by taking a 5-28 team in 2006 to a 19-12 record in 2008. Before her time at North Park, the Batavia, Ill., native was a part of the Geneva High School coaching staff from 2003-2005.
Since 1999, Pawlikowski has worked with the Kane County Juniors Volleyball Club team, serving as both an administrator and coach for the men's and women's programs. For the past five years, she has been the head coach of the 18s division. The 18s have been a regular top 20 team in the Great Lakes Region, finishing 13th in the national division of the 2008 USAV Junior National Championships in Dallas. Most recently, the 18-Gold team won the championship at the prestigious Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz.
While Pawlikowski has retired her Huskie uniform, she still plays competitively and was the libero and captain on the 2011 USAV AA national championship team.
Pawlikowski's husband Dan joins her on the Wisconsin staff as an assistant coach. The duo also coached together at Northern Illinois, at North Park University and with the Kane County Juniors program.