Katie Dow Kahmann
A true example of humility teaches preschool in the morning at First Baptist Church and coaches volleyball in the evenings at Northeast Baptist School. Both in West Monroe; both just 30 miles away from the university she took by storm.
She's Katie Dow Kahmann, and without question, she is the greatest volleyball player to don the Techster blue and red in the program's 20-year life.
Kahmann was one of six former Louisiana Tech athletes chosen for the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame's 2007 class.
"It's such an honor," Kahmann said "I never would have thought this would have happened. My first priority now is a wife and mother, and to see the letter from (Louisiana Tech President) Dr. Reneau almost made me fall out of my chair. There is a tremendous amount of pride and class that goes with this, and I certainly feel honored."
Former Tech head volleyball coach Scott Mayhew echoed Katie's sentiments about her being inducted. Mayhew coached Kahmann from 1990-92.
"It is fitting that Katie is the first volleyball player in the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame," Mayhew said. "She was there at the beginning of the program, and her hard work laid the foundation for the future success that has followed. She is a worthy example of excellence in college volleyball, not only because of her statistics and records, but also because of the teammate she was for everyone who played with her."
Katie herself admits that she played as a teammate first and not as a player looking to "pad" her own stats.
"I didn't really know what my statistics were until my career at Tech was over," Kahmann said. "I knew I could contribute to the program, but I had no idea where my journey would take me. I was blessed to be surrounded by such a great group of girls for teammates. We had no internal competition between us; it was just about playing volleyball. I was just passionate about volleyball and loved playing."
Misty Lureson (now Littleton) was Kahmann's teammate from 1990-92. Littleton remembers Kahmann as a team leader and somebody who always kept her teams together on and off the court. Littleton now lives in Shreveport and works as an audiologist.
"It was a joy to play with Katie," Littleton said. "She was always very positive and kept our spirits up and going. My whole experience playing with her was wonderful. We were all very close and stayed together as a group."
From the 1989 season all the way to '92, Kahmann captivated the Tech family with her precision, her skill and most importantly, her passion for the game.
Coming out of Seton Academy in New Orleans, where Katie was a part of plenty of team championships, she wasted no time taking her place as a star and tallied 413 kills her freshman year alone. For her entire career, she finished with 1841 career kills; a record that still stands this day.
"Volleyball was a way to express myself," Kahmann said. "God blessed me with the ability, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to play at the school I love with teammates I love."
Kahmann said she chose Tech because of the Ruston's atmosphere and was excited about the direction the new volleyball program seemed to be going.
"I came on a visit to meet the coaches and staff, and I absolutely loved the campus," Kahmann said. "Tech had a real family atmosphere. Everyone was excited about building the volleyball program, and that was something I wanted to be a part of. Tech just seemed like a good fit for me."
Mayhew drew comparison of his former star's demeanor and play to NBA legend Larry Bird.
"She had a great work ethic and was very smart about the game," Mayhew said. "She got the absolute most out of her athletic ability She was one of the best players on the team for all four of her years, so she got to play and contribute more than most players today. During her freshman year she really carried the offense -- during her sophomore, junior and senior years she had some help."
Even with the help mentioned, Kahmann's statistical presence in Tech's record books cannot be denied. Out of the 25 records Louisiana Tech volleyball keeps track of, Kahmann is mentioned in 10 categories and leads five.
However, even more impressive than her career stats is the impact Kahmann had on the program's on-the-court success. Kahmann led Louisiana Tech to 21 wins as a true freshman in 1989, one year after the Lady Techster program posted a 0-20 mark. Tech registered four straight winning seasons with Kahmann on the court.
"Katie made me appreciate that it's what a player can actually do on the court that is important," Mayhew said. "She was always very personable and a team leader. She was a great recruiter for us when we had prospects in on visits. She genuinely wanted to the team to be successful more than she cared about her own stats. Those qualities are very rare in college volleyball players today."
During her four years at Tech, she led the Lady Techsters to a combined record of 92-58, including a program best 29 victories her senior season. She was named first team all-American South in 1989, second team all-American South in 1990 and first team all-Sun Belt Conference in 1992.
During college, Kahmann met her husband Greg who lettered for the Bulldogs in 1990 and 1991 in baseball. The couple resides in West Monroe and has daughter Lexie, 8, and son Garrett, 6. When schools in North Louisiana looking to start up a volleyball program, Kahmann is the first person called.
Katie Dow Kahmann will, indeed, always be remembered as a true team player. Just meeting her and you'll know it was never about her, but her team. The Louisiana Tech family was made better by her decision to play as a Techster, and now, Kahmann's legacy will be enshrined forever Oct. 20 as Louisiana Tech will announce the 2007 class.
"If anybody deserves this honor, it's Katie," Littleton said. "Anytime we were in a stressful situation, she just seemed to hold us together. We all had great team chemistry and were close. She always kept us positive."
Positive is another word Kahmann will be remembered by. It goes without doubt that her preschoolers and her volleyball players feel the same way Tech fans remember the middle-blocker from New Orleans who captured a university.
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