Kramer Excited About Expansion
- By Kelly Tuckwiller
- December 01, 2010 03:48 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - With the addition of TCU to the BIG EAST Conference, administrators, coaches, student-athletes, alumni and fans across the conference and the country are excited to welcome the Horned Frogs. One coach here at WVU, however, has a little more to be excited about.
One of the newest additions to the Mountaineer coaching staff, Jill Kramer, WVU’s third volleyball coach in school history, is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and a product of TCU.
In 1996, Kramer joined the Horned Frogs as a member of TCU's inaugural volleyball team and a part of the team’s first graduating class, earning a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing from the Neeley School of Business.
“When I first started at WVU, I would have never guessed that TCU would be joining the BIG EAST, but I think it is great,” Kramer admitted. “Being from Texas it was a short trip home for me and it was nice to be close to home.
“At the time when I was there it was around 6,000 students. It was a smaller school with a little bit more big-time feel, but it was going though a lot of change. Volleyball had been added for the first time ever in 1996 so I was a member of the first team. That was a really cool thing to be a part of.”
From helping to build the first-ever volleyball program at TCU to now helping to continue to build volleyball at WVU and in the state of West Virginia, Kramer credits her work ethic and her drive to create awareness of the sport and to her experiences at TCU.
“I feel like my experience was so unique,” Kramer said. “I went to TCU because I knew I would get to play volleyball and that I would get a chance to be a part of building something really great and that is something I have always enjoyed. It has become part of my makeup and who I am.”
On top of adding some great athletic competition to the conference, Kramer knows that TCU will also add great academic support. Currently, it offers 118 undergraduate areas of study, 56 master’s level programs and 21 areas of doctoral study. In June, 54 student-athletes were recognized with 2009-10 Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete honors.
“I also wanted to go to TCU because I knew that I would get a great degree and be supported by a lot of my peers,” Kramer said of the academic excellence. “I think it helps give us more depth when it comes to having great academic institutions, and that never hurts. For the BIG EAST to be associated with an institution like TCU is a good thing.”
From a Texas native to a Division I head coach, Kramer’s journey has led her to Morgantown as one of WVU and the BIG EAST’s newest additions. As her alma mater now joins her as a soon-to-be conference foe, Kramer is excited about the potential opportunities that lie ahead with recruiting and with the growth of the BIG EAST.
“I have said from the beginning that I can really see players from Texas making West Virginia a home and wanting to be a part of this university,” Kramer added. “I think TCU joining the BIG EAST will help that a ton. You get to go back home.
“TCU has become a really big deal in the Dallas/Fort Worth Community. Now, wherever there are TCU billboards, there will be BIG EAST logos with it. I think it is huge for the conference.”