Lake Forest College Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats announced Tuesday the appointment of Katie Rueffer to her staff as the Foresters' new head volleyball coach. Rueffer becomes the ninth coach in program history.
Rueffer comes to Lake Forest from NCAA Division II University of North Carolina Pembroke, where she served as the top assistant coach for the last three years. The Braves' victory total increased in each of the last two seasons and she assisted the head coach in all aspects of the program, including management of day to day operations, coordinating recruiting, practice and match preparation, scouting, monitoring academic success and facilitating alumni engagement.
Rueffer's coaching career began at Waldorf College (now Waldorf University), where she spent two years assisting the head coach in all aspects of the program. She also served as the head coach of the Warriors' junior varsity team while earning her master's degree in organizational leadership. While at Waldorf, Rueffer also served as the faculty advisor for the Association of Student Athletes, an assembly of representatives from each sport who voice opinions to the athletic department and campus community.
A native of nearby Batavia, Illinois, Rueffer played four seasons at Elmhurst College, where she helped lead the Bluejays to a cumulative 125-32 (.796) record, a pair of conference titles, three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances, and an appearance in the national semifinals in 2012. The standout setter played in 147 collegiate matches and tallied 2,061 assists, 372 digs, 178 kills, and 126 blocks. Rueffer earned her bachelor's degree in physical education, health education, and coaching from Elmhurst in 2014.
"I am extremely excited to have Coach Rueffer join our staff," began Slaats. "During our search she emerged from an incredibly strong pool of candidates. Her energy and passion for the sport, combined with her experience as a coach and recruiter, make her the ideal person to elevate Forester volleyball in the conference and at the national level. Moreover, her understanding of being a Division III student-athlete, her attention to the academic success of her players, and her commitment to bettering the community around her, make her a great fit for our department and the College."
"First, I would like to thank Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats and Lake Forest for welcoming me into the Forester family," commented Rueffer. "I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am excited to begin my journey leading this volleyball program to new heights. I am thrilled to be back home in the Chicagoland area and I am looking forward to being a part of the rich tradition of excellence at Lake Forest College."
The Rueffer name may sound familiar to Forester fans as Katie's younger brother Michael played four seasons on the men's basketball team and graduated from the College in 2017. In addition, Katie competed in the Lake Forest College Sports and Recreation Center in October of 2010 as a freshman at Elmhurst College and has also served as a coach for the One Step Closer Volleyball Camps, which are held on campus.
Rueffer will begin her tenure at the College on April 1.