HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 25, 2010 - James Madison University director of athletics Jeff Bourne on Monday announced the hiring of Lauren Sauer as head coach of the volleyball program.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Lauren to JMU," stated Bourne. "She is a bright young coach with experience at the highest level as both a coach and a student-athlete. She has demonstrated success in all areas of recruiting student-athletes, teaching the sport, and communicating with her players. Lauren will be a great fit to guide the JMU volleyball program."

"I want to thank Jeff Bourne, Geoff Polglase and Shelia Moorman for the honor of leading the James Madison volleyball program," commented Sauer. "James Madison's combination of campus beauty, rich athletic tradition and high academic standards were an incredible draw for me. My goal is to return the Dukes to a championship level program and with everything this great university has to offer and the type of high integrity student-athlete's JMU draws, the sky's the limit. I'm very excited to hit the ground running."

Identified in 2009 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association as one of the "30 best coaches in the country under the age of 30," Sauer comes to JMU following three years as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Kentucky.

Sauer joined UK head coach Craig Skinner's staff in the spring of 2007 and made her impact immediately, helping the Wildcats to steady improvement in each season. After a 19-12 season in 2006 prior to her arrival, Kentucky went 22-10 in 2007 followed by 26-6 with a 17-3 mark in the Southeastern Conference in 2008. In 2009, the Wildcats went 29-5 overall and 17-3 in the SEC. They advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Championships and finished the year ranked 12th in the AVCA coaches poll. Sauer's recruiting efforts included landing the 13th-ranked class in the country in 2009.

Prior to her time at Kentucky, Sauer competed professionally for one year in Almeria, Spain. That followed a stellar four-year collegiate career at Georgia Tech, with the Yellow Jackets reaching the NCAA Championships all four years during her career, including trips to the quarterfinals in 2003 and the round of 16 in 2004. Georgia Tech won a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championships (2003, 04) and also won the tournament championship in 2002.

Sauer was an AVCA honorable mention All-American in 2003, was named All-ACC in 2002 and 2003, and became one of just two players in Yellow Jacket history to earn ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 2001. She was also ACC All-Tournament in 2003 and earned five other all-tournament accolades, including MVP of the 2003 Georgia Tech Invitational.

In the Yellow Jacket career record books, Sauer ranks second in solo blocks with 99, fifth with 1,706 career kills, fifth in kills per set (3.60), eighth in total blocks (368), and ninth in block assists (269). She also ranks fifth (541 in 2003) and eighth (506 in 2004) in season kill totals as well as second (38 in 2004) and fifth (34 in 2002) in season solo blocks. In 2002, she etched her name in the NCAA record books with the second-best hitting percentage in a match all-time, connecting on 17 kills in 18 swings for a .944 attack rate.

Also a stellar student, Sauer was named to the ACC Honor Roll during each of her four years at Georgia Tech. She was honored as an ESPN The Magazine District III University Division Academic All-District performer in both 2003 and 2004, honoring academic and athletic excellence among all Division I volleyball players from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. She was also named Academic All-ACC in 2005 and was a Dean's List student at GT.

Following the completion of her volleyball career with the 2004 season, Sauer continued competition as a student-athlete by joining the Yellow Jacket's women's basketball squad for the remainder of the 2004-05 season and the 2005-06 campaign.

Sauer completed her bachelor of science in business management in December of 2005. She is a native of Huntsville, Ala.