The most successful player during a historic run for Ohio volleyball will receive one of the highest honors a Mid-American Conference athlete can achieve.
Ellen Herman-Kimball was selected to the MAC’s 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Class, the conference announced on Monday. She becomes the first Ohio volleyball player to be inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame.
Herman-Kimball is one of six new members. She is joined by Stevi Large Gruber (Akron, women’s track & field), Bryan Bullington (Ball State, baseball), Margo Jonker (Central Michigan, softball), Wally Szczerbiak (Miami, men’s basketball) and Briana Shook (Toledo, women’s track & field).
“We have such a storied history within our Conference and it is important to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our former students, coaches and administrators, specifically these six individuals, and their achievements during their time competing in the Mid-American Conference,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, MAC Commissioner, in a press release. “We are honored to welcome this year’s class to the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame.”
“The Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame is a testament to the achievements of those that have competed and served in this great Conference,” added Steinbrecher.
Herman-Kimball played for the Bobcats during the 2006 through 2009 seasons. She was an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-American in ‘08 and ‘09, as well as earning AVCA All-Mideast Region honors those two seasons.
Herman-Kimball dominated conference play during her four seasons, earning a spot on the All-MAC teams every season. She was the conference’s Freshman of the Year in 2006, then was named the MAC Player of the Year in ‘08 and ‘09.
Ohio won the MAC title and played in the NCAA Tournament all four years Herman-Kimball was on the team. The run was highlighted by a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2008.
Herman-Kimball is still the MAC’s all-time leader in kills (1,984), as well as leading the Ohio record books in career attack attempts (2,925, fifth in MAC history) and career points (2,191.5). She was inducted into the Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
Herman-Kimball, a Toledo native, earned her bachelor’s degree in health administration from Ohio in 2010. She played played professionally in Germany and Switzerland.
Herman-Kimball was named the head coach at UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 after spending five seasons as an assistant coach.
According to the press release, the MAC Hall of Fame was approved by the MAC Council of Presidents in 1987. The charter class was inducted in 1988 and subsequent classes were added in ‘89, ‘90, ‘91, ‘92 and ‘94. After six induction classes, the MAC Hall of Fame maintained 52 members until it was reinstated in May of 2012. This year’s class brings the number of MAC Hall of Fame inductees to 102 individuals from 15 classes.
The last Ohio athlete to earn induction into the MAC Hall of Fame was wrestler Dwight Gardner in 2017.