Jill Wilson, Head Coach
Jill Lytle Wilson was named the head coach of the Virginia Tech volleyball program on January 12, 2017, and enters her second year in Blacksburg.
In her first season as the head coach of the Hokies in 2017, Wilson guided Jaila Tolbert to second-team All-ACC after she owned the highest hitting percentage in the conference for non-middle blockers. Tolbert, a right-side hitter, hit more than .300 in 20 matches and earned Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) all-state honors.
Wilson also was key in the development of Kaity Smith, who was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team, as well as the VaSID Freshman of the Year. Smith started the season breaking a school record, putting down 30 kills in her debut – a program first.
Picking up two wins over Virginia in her first season, Wilson contributed to a full point in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. Wilson led Tech to two non-conference tournament titles her opening season, winning the Pepsi Panther Invitational and A-State Invitational. At the A-State Invitational, the Hokies took down Arkansas State and SMU, two teams that won 20-plus matches and earned a bid to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
Wilson joined the Hokies after an extremely successful run on the bench at LSU where, as the recruiting coordinator, she signed five top-30 recruiting classes according to PrepVolleyball.com. She also helped lead the Tigers to six NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2009 SEC Championship, as well as 25-win seasons in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The Tigers averaged over 20 wins per season during her time on the LSU staff.
“We are excited to welcome Jill and her husband, Jared, to Virginia Tech,” Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said after the announcement of her hiring. “Jill served as an integral component of an LSU program that became a perennial NCAA tournament team during her tenure in the highly-competitive Southeastern Conference. We heard from some of the most respected coaches in the country about Jill’s many talents, and their sentiments were very consistent that the school that recruited her away from her alma mater was going to be fortunate to have Jill lead their volleyball program.”
Along with her reputation as a staunch recruiter, Wilson helped produce 15 All-SEC selections, four American Volleyball Coaches Association All-South Region First Team picks and an AVCA First Team All-American and SEC Player of the Year in middle blocker Brittnee Cooper.
No stranger to the ACC, Wilson was an assistant at North Carolina from 2002-04 before serving as the top assistant at Wake Forest in 2006. She coached two All-Americans, an ACC Player of the Year and helped lead the Tar Heels to the 2002 regular season ACC Championship and an NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance. With the Demon Deacons, Wilson trained outside and right side hitters along with assisting in recruiting prospective student-athletes and organizing all team travel.
Wilson broke into coaching in 2001 as a graduate assistant coach at Tennessee-Martin. The Skyhawks finished the campaign with a 24-7 record and won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship.
A four-year starter at outside hitter at LSU from 1997-2000, Wilson ranked sixth in the SEC with 23 service aces during her senior campaign that also saw the Tigers appear in the 2000 SEC Tournament finals.
Wilson exemplified the Virginia Tech spirit of Ut Prosim while she was a student-athlete. She was the Tigers' representative on the women's at-large SEC Good Works Team in 1999-00 and she was named the LSU Student-Athlete Volunteer of the Year in 2000.
The Richmond, Texas, native graduated from LSU with a B.S. in business administration with concentration in pre-law. While at UT-Martin, Wilson pursued graduate studies in health and human performance.
Tom Amberg, Assistant Coach
Former UCLA men’s volleyball standout and LSU volunteer assistant coach Thomas Amberg enters his second season as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech.
In 2017, his first season in Blacksburg, Amberg was critical in the development of middle blockers Stacey Christy and Cara Cunningham. Christy posted career-bests numbers in kills, blocks and aces, while Cunningham hit .800 (8-of-10) in Tech’s match versus Miami (Fla.) – the third-best hitting percentage in a match in program history. In the Hokies’ home contest against Virginia, the squad posted a season-high 14 blocks under Amberg’s tutelage.
Amberg spent the 2013 and 2016 seasons on the bench in Baton Rouge with Jill Lytle Wilson between playing professionally in France for three years.
A native of El Cajon, California, Amberg also has experience coaching boys and girls at the club level with Club Pacific Volleyball in East San Diego after graduating from UCLA. Amberg had a decorated four-year career in Westwood that was capped with consensus first-team All-America honors from the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine as a senior. He was also voted first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation that season after leading the conference with a .486 hitting percentage and finishing fourth with 1.43 blocks per set.
He ended his career as a Bruin with his name in the top 10 all time in several statistical categories including blocks (sixth, 466) and hitting percentage (eighth, .404). In the summer of 2010 entering his sophomore campaign, Amberg played several matches with the USA Volleyball Junior National Team that competed in India.
While an undergraduate, Amberg completed internships in the UCLA Athletics finance office and the campus career center. He graduated in 2012 with a degree in sociology.
John Wasielewski, Associate Head Coach
John Wasielewski enters his second season as associate head coach at Virginia Tech.
In his first year in Blacksburg in 2017, Wasielewski was instrumental in setter Rhegan Mitchell’s success, guiding her to being named the Pepsi Panther Invitational MVP and All-Tournament selection, as well as being tabbed to the A-State Invitational All-Tournament team. Mitchell racked up 1,122 assists to become the first Hokie with over 1,000 assists since 2013, and was one of only six players in the ACC to tally more than 1,000 assists.
Prior to joining head coach Jill Lytle Wilson in Blacksburg, Wasielewski held the same title for 18 years at Duke, where he helped lead the Blue Devils to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and four ACC Championships.
Wasielewski served under Duke head coach Jolene Nagel since her hiring in 1999 and the duo combined to turn the Blue Devil volleyball program into an ACC power. His acumen in recruiting and scouting helped propel Duke to 14 20-win seasons and an ACC-record seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments from 2005-11.
Considered by many as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation, Wasielewski oversaw the development of 17 All-Americans, four ACC Players of the Year and more than 20 All-ACC honorees. He has been a part of four ACC Coach of the Year staffs and four East Region Coach of the Year staffs.
Prior to his time in Durham, Wasielewski was the head coach at St. Bonaventure from 1992-98. He was instrumental in building the Bonnies’ volleyball program into one of the Atlantic 10’s more competitive squads. Wasielewski spent two seasons with the Bonnies as an assistant coach from 1990-91 and earned his master’s degree in education from St. Bonaventure in 1992.
Wasielewski played collegiately at Penn State where he was a two-time team captain and a member of two Final Four squads in 1987 and 1989. He later served as a student assistant for the Nittany Lions’ women’s program in the fall of 1989 when they went 34-7 and won the Big Ten Championship. Wasielewski competed in both the 1986 and 1987 U.S. Olympic Festivals, earning a bronze medal in both appearances. He earned his degree in economics from Penn State in 1990.
He and his wife Jennifer have two children, a son Jack and a daughter Jenna.