Former Creighton standout joins volleyball coaching staff
After volunteering as an assistant in 2016, Maggie Baumert has found a new role on the Central Michigan volleyball team's coaching staff.
Baumert was hired as a full-time assistant coach earlier this month. She also coached volleyball camps at Creighton, and spent three years with Volleyball Club Nebraska.
Baumert’s career at Creighton pincluded a role in a historic run for the Blue Jays. Before graduating in 2016, the Nebraska native helped Creighton to win both the Big East Regular Season and Tournament Championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as the school’s first Sweet 16 berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
Kristen Bernathal Booth, Baumert’s coach at Creighton, said Baumert’s path to coaching was “a long time coming.” “I knew coaching was something that interested her,” Booth said. “She was a great camp coach in the summers. The kids loved her.”
Baumert possesses qualities as a player that can’t be taught, Booth said.
“Maggie is a great leader,” Booth said. “She opitimized someone who cared about the team more than herself. She has a consistent work ethic, and challenged her teammates in a way where they responded and respected. Kids either have that or they don’t. You can’t teach that.”
Baumert’s journey from Nebraska to Mount Pleasant came from a connection with former Creighton volunteer assistant coach Adam Rollman, who helped her connect with Head Coach Mike Gawlik.
“(Gawlik) had a lot of success at (Michigan State),” Baumert said. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to work for him.”
Baumert’s role with the team includes working with setters and offensive systems, both office and program organization, day-to-day player relationships and team travel.
“I’m in my first month of doing everything,” Baumert said. “It’s been a whirlwind, but challenge accepted.”
Junior setter Marissa Grant said she enjoys having a coach that can specifically work with setters.
“It’s really nice to have a setting coach specifically who knows the game just as well as we’re trying to figure out,” Grant said. “(Baumert) knows everything we are thinking, it’s very easy to communicate with her and very helpful with everything that we do.”
Head coach Mike Gawlik sees the 2016 graduate’s youth as a challenge for the first-year assistant.
“It’s one thing to have an idea of the age group after being in a locker room recently,” Gawlik said. “It can be challenging to separate yourself as an authority figure when you’re only two years older than some of the players. It’s a balance that Maggie will have to deal with trying to be relatable and an authority figure for guidance, not just a buddy. It’s a challenge for a lot of your coaches, but Maggie can walk the line.”
Baumert sees the age gap as a positive when dealing with players.
“They respect me, they trust me," Baumert said. "They tell me a lot of things that they might not tell a coach that’s older. Gaining their trust and respect has been really important and been fun so far.”