MACOMB, Ill. - Fighting Leatherneck head volleyball coach April Hall announced the hiring of as her assistant coach Monday (Feb. 11).
"I'm beyond excited that Laura is coming on staff here at Western Illinois," said coach Hall. "Laura brings a wealth of knowledge from her playing experience at Illinois as well as professionally overseas. She exudes passion for the game unmatched by most, and her commanding work ethic will inevitably motivate our players to the highest level."
DeBruler joins the Leatherneck coaching staff after serving as a
volunteer assistant at Illinois where she helped provide input at practices and
competition, while assisting with video and statistical breakdown.
Prior to her assisting at Illinois, DeBruler played four seasons for the Fighting Illini. She concluded her career as the all-time Illinois leader in kills with 1,833. She also ranks first in career attacks (4,806) and eighth in career digs (1,117).
One of the most celebrated players in Illinois history, DeBruler was a major player in the resurgence of Illinois volleyball to the national scene. She was part of the sixth-ranked national recruiting class and had arguably the best debut in Illinois history when she tallied 28 kills, 11 digs and a .323 hitting percentage vs. Bowling Green. That year she tallied 577 kills, the third most in single season in program history.
As a sophomore, DeBruler ranked sixth in the country in kills per set at 4.66 and was named AVCA and CVU.com National Player of the Week after posting 65 kills at the State Farm Illini Classic. DeBruler was an All-Mideast Region selection, a unanimous choice for All-Big Ten and a Second Team AVCA All-American.
DeBruler established herself as one of the best players in the country in 2009 as a junior, earning First Team All-America and ranking second in the Big Ten in kills per set (4.46). She set Illinois' all-time record for 20-kill matches with her 30th of her career vs. Michigan St. and finished with 36.
DeBruler was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, earned eight Big Ten Player of the Week honors, nine all-tournament selections, two tournament MVPs and was a finalist for the LOWE's Senior Class Award. She was also a part of three straight NCAA Sweet 16 teams.
After graduation, DeBruler played for the NUC Volleyball Club in Nuchatel, Switzerland, winning MVP of the match against Kanti Schaffhausen. She competed in the National A League, which is the highest in Switzerland. as well as the CEV Cup against other European teams.
"Laura has proven herself to be a remarkable athlete, but more importantly, an incredible person," said coach Hall. "She will serve as a great role model for our student-athletes on and off the court, and I'm looking forward to building this program with her by my side."