Dani Busboom is returning to the Nebraska volleyball program, this time as one of NU's two full-time assistant coaches.
Head coach John Cook announced the hiring of the Louisville assistant coach Friday. Busboom replaces Dan Conners, who came to Nebraska from UCLA 1½ years ago.
Busboom is originally from Adams and graduated from Freeman High School. She was a four-year starter at Nebraska (2003-06) when the Huskers went 124-10, the best four-year record in school history, with three Big 12 titles. As a team captain in 2006, Busboom moved from setter to libero and helped NU win a national championship.
Busboom was an assistant at Louisville for one season and at Tennessee for two seasons. Following college, she was a sales representative for an Omaha-based insurance firm and offered sideline reports for the Husker Sports Network during NU matches.
Conners “resigned abruptly” last week, Cook said. Cook said he was out of town recruiting and had to work quickly to hire a new coach before team meetings begin Aug. 6. Cook declined comment when asked if Conners is coaching elsewhere.
Cook had been looking for an opportunity to hire a former Nebraska player as an assistant coach for the first time, and considered four former players currently coaching at various levels. Busboom was the most qualified, Cook said, and had earned glowing reviews from coaching peers while coaching USA Volleyball’s Select A2 program this summer.
“I think, really to understand and appreciate this program, you have to have played here,” Cook said. “The impact this program has and how big of a deal it is, how much we’re intertwined with the state, I think somebody that has played here is certainly going to understand that a lot better than somebody that hasn’t.
“Mike Krzyzewski at Duke only hires former players. And then to provide an opportunity for a female who wants to go into coaching to coach at Nebraska has been one of my goals to get to that point. There is a shortage of women in coaching.”
Busboom will help train Nebraska’s setters, liberos and outside hitters. Second-year assistant coach Dan Meske will now coach the middle blockers. Volunteer assistant coach Maggie Griffin will not return. Instead, she'll work full time for the vcNebraska club team she owns and operates.
Busboom was in Europe when Cook contacted her about the position. She plans to be on the job next week.
"I could not be more excited to be a part of the Nebraska family again,” Busboom said in a statement. “Not only is it home for my husband (former Husker football player Lane Kelly) and I, but it is arguably the best volleyball program in the country.
“Since I started a career in coaching, I have been hoping for the opportunity to compete for a national championship again. There is no place I'd rather do that than at Nebraska.”