A third-year member of head coach Ray Gooden's staff, assistant coach Coley Pawlikowski has served as the recruiting coordinator responsible for bringing in a 2010 freshman class that led the Huskies to a second place finish at the Mid-American Conference Tournament, the program's highest finish since 2001.
A pair of Pawlikowski's recruits, outside hitter Lauren Wicinski and middle blocker Sarah Angelos, played in all 35 matches in NIU's first 27-win season since 1998. Angelos ranked 29th in the nation in hitting percentage (.367) Wicinski became the first player in MAC history to be named the league's Freshman and Player of the Year in the same season. She also became the first freshman and second ever in NIU history to be named an American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American and was named CVU.com's Freshman of the Year.
Staying in the Huskie volleyball family circle, Pawlikowski was highly responsible for signing the outstanding offspring of a former Huskie great. With the addition of Wicinski, daughter of Gina Graf (1983-86), the program's seventh all-time kills leader, Pawlikowski helped recruit the first high school All-American to play at Northern Illinois.
Because of her influence in the game of volleyball, Pawlikowski was named a recipient of the AVCA's 2011 Thirty Under 30. Established in 2009, she has received the honor in two of its first three years. The accolade was created to recognize the rising volleyball coaches under the age of 30.
In 2009-10, the former Huskie defensive specialist played a huge role in elevating the play of libero Maddie Hughes, who went on to lead the MAC in digs and earn NIU's first MAC Defensive Player of the Year honor in 2009, along with a second team All-MAC selection for the first time in her three-year career. Under the tutelage of Pawlikowski, Hughes earned a second team All-MAC selection in 2010 as well.
Prior to her return to NIU, Pawlikowski served as head coach of the North Park Vikings from 2006-08 and left her mark on the program by taking a 5-28 team in 2006 to a 19-12 record in 2008. During that span, she led the Vikings to 37 wins. Additionally, she led North Park to a pair of tournament championships and produced the best outside hitter in the last 13 years of the program in Yaifeh Chafeh.
As a reward for her accomplishments in 2008, Pawlikowski was one of just four Division III women's volleyball coaches to earn the inaugural Thirty Under 30 honor from the AVCA.
Before her time with North Park, the Batavia, Ill., native was a part of the Geneva High School coaching staff from 2003-2005. She assisted with every level of the program from freshman to varsity under her father, K.C. Johnsen, who is the women's head coach.
Since 1999, Pawlikowski has worked with the Kane County Juniors Volleyball Club team, serving as both an administrator and coach for the men's and women's programs. For the past five years, she has been the head coach of the 18s division. The 18s have been a regular top 20 team in the Great Lakes Region, finishing 13th in the national division of the 2008 USAV Junior National Championships in Dallas. Most recently, the 18-Gold team won the championship at the prestigious Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz.
Pawlikowski earned her bachelor's degree in communication from Northern Illinois University in 2004.
From 1999-2001, Coley (Johnsen) was a three-year starter as a defensive specialist. In 2001, she helped NIU win the Mid-American Conference tournament and earn a spot in the NCAA tournament, which is the last time that the Huskies achieved both feats.
While Pawlikowski has retired her Huskie uniform, she still plays competitively and was the libero and captain on the 2011 USAV AA national championship team.
She is married to Dan Pawlikowski, who is also a member of the NIU volleyball coaching staff.