Evangel Profile

Molly (Hawkins) Illum (’00): Missouri high school volleyball coach

September 10, 2011

Molly (Hawkins ’00) Illum, wife of Evangel’s head football coach, Brenton Illum (’99), was recently named the head volleyball coach at Central High School in Springfield, Missouri.

“Coaching girls to be better at something that I am incredibly passionate about is so fun,” Illum says. “I get the opportunity to encourage, train, teach work ethic and establish relationships based on the platform of being a volleyball coach.”

As the head volleyball coach and 9th through 12th grade physical education teacher, Illum has many opportunities to share the love of Christ through the way she lives her life. “Of course, I don’t live it perfectly, but I allow them to see His love shine through and, if the opportunity presents itself, talk to them about what that is,” Illum says.

Illum believes her Evangel experience prepared her to be a successful teacher and coach, both in her classes and through relationships with her coaches and professors. “I learned from professors and coaches at Evangel how to work hard, be diligent, praise God through triumphs and tribulations, and above all else, have a passion for whatever it is I do,” she says.

Reflecting on her days as a Physical Education major at Evangel, Illum reveals that her most valuable opportunities were the relationships she built with faculty and staff. “That laid a foundation for me to realize that life is about creating and maintaining relationships and as a coach, I have a wonderful opportunity to accomplish that,” says Illum.

The Illums, despite their busy coaching schedules, enjoy spending time with family and friends in their free time and love working out together. After 13 years of marriage, they are so thankful for their life together. “[Brenton] is an amazing coach and not only supports me in my coaching but helps me become a better coach all the time,” Molly says.

God has truly blessed Molly, granting her heart’s desire and allowing her to do the things she enjoys. She leaves a message for prospective students:

“Evangel is an amazing University to which I owe so much. It helped create who I am as a teacher, but it also deepened my relationship with the Lord and allowed me to find my husband. I love Evangel and all that it stands for, and I am truly indebted to this wonderful place.”

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