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MSU volleyball welcomes assistant coach JT Wenger

February 18, 2016
<p>Left to right, junior outside hitter Chloe Reinig, sophomore middle back Alyssa Garvelink, sophomore setter Rachel Minarick, sophomore libero Abby Monson and sophomore outside hitter Holly Toliver celebrate the final play during the volleyball game against Ohio State on Oct. 21, 2015 at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated Ohio State, 3-0.</p>

Left to right, junior outside hitter Chloe Reinig, sophomore middle back Alyssa Garvelink, sophomore setter Rachel Minarick, sophomore libero Abby Monson and sophomore outside hitter Holly Toliver celebrate the final play during the volleyball game against Ohio State on Oct. 21, 2015 at Jenison Field House. The Spartans defeated Ohio State, 3-0.

Photo by Sundeep Dhanjal | The State News

MSU volleyball and head coach Cathy George has signed on a new assistant coach,  Jonathan "JT" Wenger, according to a Spartan Athletics press release.

Wenger will be replacing former assistant Mike Gawlik, who took the head coaching job at Central Michigan University in January after 11 years on the MSU staff, according to the release.

“We're very excited to add JT to our staff," George said in the release. "His career not only as a coach in the Pac-12 on both men's and women's staffs, but also as an elite-level collegiate athlete provides him a very strong background that will be an asset to our athletes, our recruiting efforts and program as a whole. We're not only looking forward to JT joining us in a volleyball capacity, but also to welcome him, his wife Marissa and their children to our community."

Wenger played collegiate volleyball at UCLA for legendary men’s volleyball coach Al Scates, and was a three-time varsity letterwinner in 2001, 2003 and 2004. UCLA was the NCAA runner-ups in 2001, made regionals in 2002 and were regional semifinalists in 2004.

Wenger had a brief professional career after leaving UCLA, going to Corozal Puerto Rico to play for a team called Plataneros de Corozal in 2004. After his brief stint as a professional, Wenger worked finance industry at both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade for SMW Trading before retuning to UCLA as an assistant coach.

Wenger spent six seasons with the UCLA men’s volleyball team, where he served under his former coach Scates. 

Wenger then moved on to the University of Colorado where he has spent the last four years on staff for CU's women's volleyball team. Wenger was elevated to the role of associate head coach for CU in March of 2014.

Wenger said he is honored to join the MSU volleyball program and help the student-athletes excel both on the court and in the classroom.

"I am honored to join the Spartan volleyball program and I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to a program that excels academically, athletically, and in providing an exceptional experience for the student-athletes," Wenger said in the release.

Wenger has been recognized twice as a “30 under 30” selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The award recognizes the top 30 up-and-coming coaches younger the age of 30. Wenger found his name on the list in both 2009 and 2010.

Wenger said he is excited to be at a university such as MSU, which he believes is so supportive of its volleyball program and to learn from head coach George.

"After being on campus, it is clear that the MSU administration is very supportive of the volleyball program and I am elated to be working with Cathy, as she is a fixture in elite collegiate volleyball," Wenger said in the release. "I think that there is an opportunity be a part of something special at MSU, and I am eager to get started."

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