Karen Dahlgren Schonewise, assistant volleyball coach at Kansas the last six years, was named head coach on Monday.
"I'm very excited. I think it's a wonderful opportunity," Schonewise said.
Schonewise succeeds Frankie Albitz who was fired after the Jayhawks compiled a 17-15 record last season.
Schonewise, 29, played collegiately at Nebraska where she was named Big Eight player of the year in 1986, and recipient of the Broderick Award given to the nation's top collegiate player. She was a four-time All-Big Eight selection.
In addition, Schonewise earned numerous academic awards, including the GTE Academic All-America selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Schonewise's No. 13 was retired at Nebraska in 1989.
After graduation in 1987, she was the top draft pick in the first year of Major League Volleyball. She played professionally for the Minnesota Monarchs before going to Nevada-Reno where she worked as a part-time volunteer assistant coach.
In 1989, she continued her professional career with the New York Liberties.
Schonewise inherits a young team at Kansas. The Jayhawks lost four seniors and will have only one senior, Janet Uher, on next year's team.
Three freshmen were red-shirted last season, and three high school seniors were signed. They are Kendra Kahler of Ottawa, Leslie Purkeypile of Wamego and Maggie Mohrfeld of West Point, Iowa.
Also, Kansas has a commitment from another high school senior, Tricia Lindgren of Brighton, Colo.
"We have a little bit of rebuilding to do," Schonewise said. "And some attitude change needs to take place."
Schonewise is a native of Bertrand, Neb. Her husband, Quint, is a former Kansas football player.