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Nolen takes over Harvard volleyball program

Published: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 8:12 p.m. CDT

Recent Northern Illinois University graduate Megan Nolen has experienced a whirlwind past month.

After finishing the club volleyball season with her Club Fusion 18U team, Nolen learned in July that Harvard’s head volleyball coaching position was open, and that District 50 also had a teaching position in the physical education department.

“It’s been a quick transition from being unemployed to two jobs,” said Nolen, who accepted the positions on July 28 and was officially hired at Harvard’s school board meeting Wednesday night. Harvard AD Matt Rife announced the hiring Thursday.

Nolen, a 2008 Harvard graduate herself, is takes over for Nicole Holmes, who resigned this summer. Holmes lives in Harvard, but teaches at Oregon and decided all the driving, along with coaching, was too much. Nolen jumped at the chance.

“I knew I wanted to teach and coach, I never expected it to happen this early,” said Nolen, 24. “I’m excited and anxious to do both. I’m realizing how much work it is, I’m used to being the assistant and helping out, not being in that lead role. I love it.”

Nolen played on Harvard’s Class A State Tournament third-place team in 2006. After graduating in 2008, she attended Illinois State and played club volleyball before transferring to attend McHenry County College and playing one season there. She coached Harvard’s freshman team for one season, the girls who are seniors this fall.

“I grew up in a family of coaches,” said Nolen, whose father Donnie is the Hornets boys basketball and baseball head coach. “I knew I wanted to coach. After MCC, I knew I was done playing. I had my fun, now it was time to switch roles and become a coach.”

Nolen helped with a Harvard club for younger players that no longer exists, coached with Fusion and last year coached DeKalb’s sophomore team while attending NIU.

“I’m excited that the opportunity was made available so soon,” Nolen said. “It’s great to coach and teach at the school I graduated from."

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