Sara Johnson Illies ’85 Inducted 2000

Basketball and Volleyball

Sara Johnson Illies

As captain of the most successful volleyball team in Gustavus history, Sara Johnson Illies helped guide the nationally ranked Gustie Bees to a 45-8 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1984 where they fell to eventual national champion UC-San Diego in the quarterfinals. Illies was a three-year letterwinner for the volleyball team, earning all-conference honors her senior year, and she was instrumental in helping Gustavus compile a record of 83-25-3 during the two years that she was the team's starting setter. In addition to her contributions on the volleyball court, Illies was also a standout on the basketball court where she was a four-year starter as a point guard and set the school record for assists in a game with 16 (a record that still stands). At the time she graduated, Illies held the record for career assists with 337 as well as the record for assists in a season with 125. She currently ranks third in career assists and third in assists in a season.
After graduating with a degree in biology, Illies worked as a research associate with Molecular Genetics, Inc. from 1985-89 and then moved on to become a lab technician with Gold 'n Plump Poultry from 1989-1995. Since 1995, she has been at home devoting her time to her four children. Sara lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with her husband, Marc '85, and their children, Connor (10), Claire (8), Becca (5), and Kaia (1).