CROOKSTON, Minn. – University of Minnesota Crookston Director of Athletics Stephanie Helgeson announced the hiring of Sarah Rauen as head volleyball coach for the Golden Eagles. Rauen brings seven years as a NCAA Division I assistant to the table after serving the last four seasons as an assistant at North Dakota State University and the previous three at her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“We are very excited to be able to add Sarah to our staff at Minnesota Crookston,” Helgeson said. “She knows what it takes to recruit elite talent to a volleyball program and is already familiar with the region with the deep recruiting ties she has developed during her seven years as an assistant at NDSU and Green Bay. Sarah offers us a great fit for our university and is someone who aligns with the vision we have for this program moving forward.”
Rauen spent the last four seasons at North Dakota State working under Kari Thompson. Her emphasis as an assistant for the Bison was on recruiting in Minnesota and Wisconsin, assisting in all areas of the program with an emphasis on defense and passing. In addition, she oversaw the academic progress of the volleyball student-athletes.
“I would like to thank Stephanie Helgeson, Kamille Wahlin and the entire search committee for the time and effort they put in to showing me what it means to be a part of the Minnesota Crookston campus and Golden Eagle Athletics,” Rauen said. “After spending time on campus and meeting the staff and returning players, it was clear that the program has a bright future. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join the Golden Eagle community.”
At NDSU, Rauen was a part of one of the nation’s biggest improvements in the win column as they earned nine more victories than the previous season in 2014. Last season, Rauen helped NDSU to an 11-5 conference mark. She was instrumental in helping libero Mikaela Purnell to Summit League Defensive Player of the Year honors. In addition, under Rauen’s leadership, libero Emily Milligan was second in the Summit League in 2014 with 530 total digs. In total, Rauen helped coach nine Bison student-athletes to All-Summit League honors during her four seasons.
Prior to her arrival at NDSU, Rauen spent three seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater of Green Bay. While at UWGB, she had the opportunity to work under her college head coach Debbie Kirch, now the Assistant Athletic Director for Academics at Northern Kentucky University. Rauen helped train AVCA All-Region and Honorable Mention All-America libero Brittany Groth, who was a two-time All-Horizon league performer and UWGB’s all-time digs leader. Groth ranked third nationally in digs per set and the Phoenix were sixth in team digs in 2012.
As a player for the Phoenix, Rauen was a defensive specialist on Green Bay’s 2003 Horizon League Championship squad. She set the school record for career digs for the Phoenix with 1,519 from 2003 and 2006 and finished third on the single-season chart with 518 digs as a junior.
Rauen spent the 2007 season on Kirch’s staff at UWGB as a student assistant and was an assistant coach for a pair of regional championship teams at De Pere High School in De Pere, Wis., in 2008 and 2009. She also coached for the Fox Cities Elite Volleyball Club.