Two young up-and-coming coaches will round out new DePaul coach Marie Zidek’s staff: Maggie Strus and Nick Vogel.
“My first recruiting victory here at DePaul was bringing two outstanding coaches to this program, and I couldn’t be more excited to announce them to the team as well as the DePaul community,” Zidek said. “Maggie and Nick are bright young minds that are exceptional at connecting with and mentoring young people. They also have a wealth of volleyball experience and passionately connect to the game that our players will immediately be inspired by on a daily basis. Most importantly, they believe in their heart of hearts in this program and our mission at DePaul.
“My staff will work hard to recruit local, national, and international talent. We will pride ourselves on developing these players on and off the court to become elite level competitors in the arena and tremendous people outside of it. Every day, we will work hard to get a little closer to our goal of contending for BIG EAST Championships and building sustainable excellence here at DePaul.”
Vogel, who was a four-year starter for the UCLA men’s team and went on to play for Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games and 2014 FIVB World Championship, comes to Chicago from the University of San Diego where he spent the 2017 season as a volunteer assistant. Following his collegiate playing days Vogel players professionally in Asia, South American and Europe. Vogel, who began his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant with the UCLA women and was an assistant coach with the UCSD men, is no stranger to Zidek, acting as a volunteer assistant under her with the USD women’s last year.
Nick balances our staff out in such a beneficial way that I couldn’t have asked for a better option,” Zidek said. “Coming from San Diego, he brings a wealth of knowledge and volleyball experience at the highest level to the Blue Demon program. As a player that played various positions at UCLA, with the USA Men’s National Team, and professionally overseas, he has seen and competed against some of the best volleyball players in the world. What makes Nick so special though is his ability to translate his competitive experience and his experience learning volleyball to young people in a way that connects and develops them. He has the experience in developing and coaching intricacies to the men’s and women’s game, and this experience will be paramount in getting our offensive and defensive systems performing at the highest and most creative level.”
Strus comes to DePaul after helping lead Marist High School to an IHSA state volleyball championship and FloVolleyball national title in 2017 as an assistant coach. The Illinois-Chicago alumna and the Flames’ all-time digs leader, has had a variety of jobs around sports since graduation, acting as special events coordinator and then special assistant to the UIC men’s basketball head coach, as a behavior therapist at Austism Home Support and as an assistant director and recruiting director at Volley Chicago. DePaul athletics runs in Strus’ blood as her mother Debra is a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame as a basketball and volleyball player and her brother Max is currently a junior guard for the Blue Demons.
“Maggie has direct connection to the local volleyball community and long-time history with DePaul,” said Zidek. “Her recent experience and great success at Marist as well as growing up in the Chicagoland volleyball community will help us drive our local recruiting efforts. Hiring Maggie was an absolute honor as she is connected to the DePaul history books. Her mother is an alum of the volleyball program, so she has grown up part of the Blue Demon family. Having someone so viscerally and historically connected to the Blue Demon family that can showcase the ‘why’ of our program and the ties between the University and Chicago is a huge advantage in our recruiting, alumni and current roster development efforts.”
DePaul finished 8-22 in 2017, including a 2-16 mark in Big East play.