Liese Abili is in his first season as
an assistant volleyball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Abili is not your average first-year coach. He is from the African country of
Cameroon and has traveled the world, just to end up here in Stevens Point.
The story of Abili’s volleyball experience starts when he was in middle school.
“I remember I was in a very poor school and I, personally with one teacher,
helped make a net, found two bamboos, and we erected a court on grass,” Abili
Abili then moved on to high school where the volleyball program was a little
“When I went to high school in the urban area, I played more as there was a mud
court, metal poles and a better net,” Abili said. “The high school took part in
After playing more in high school, Abili decided to try out for his local university
team, while he was pursuing an undergraduate degree in law and a degree in
“I had a real volleyball coach when I went to university,” Abili said. “I trained
hard and made the cut and played for four years.”
While in college, Abili also participated in the National All-Cameroon Higher
Institution Games four times, winning a gold and bronze medal.
“I remember cherishing the bronze medal a lot more than the gold,” Abili said. “This
was because we had gone from being the underdogs to finishing third.”
“I remember the tears I burst into after the last point that sanctioned a 3-2
defeat of the championship holders from the previous year,” Abili said. “It is
one of the most unforgettable and most glamorous moments in my sports life.”
After graduating from college, Abili decided that he wanted to travel the world
and experience everything that was out there for him to see.
Abili has ventured to many places, including Singapore, Thailand, the
Philippines, Malaysia, China, Vietnam and Dubai.
In his travels he experienced many different things. He explained how in China
they fight over the bill at restaurants because they want to display their love
and affection to each other. “I thought that was such a cool thing,” Abili
Abili then traveled to South Africa where he coached for the University of
Pretori. He helped lead the team to the National South African Volleyball Provincial
Throughout his travels, Abili said he has seen many things that might be
different or scared him, but it didn’t prevent him from venturing out.
Abili is now in Stevens Point, where he has some adjustments to make. “Before I
moved to Stevens Point, I had not lived in a place with less than two million
people, so I find it interesting to always see the same faces every day,” Abili
Abili moved to Stevens Point because his best friend from middle school, Sam
Dinga, was a UWSP alumnus and convinced Abili to move here.
In addition to coaching, Abili is also pursuing a double major in both Public
Administration and Political Science with a minor in Business Administration
here at UWSP.
“It is really hard to gain the reflexes, especially if you have a job as well,”
Abili said. “Time management becomes a focal aspect of your life.”
Even with the challenges of managing school and coaching, Abili is enjoying
himself this season.
“I am having a great time with the kids.
They are very disciplined, respectful, hard workers, and they are winning overall.
I am glad to be part of it,” Abili said.
It’s a very different place for Abili, but he has adapted very quickly. “The
people around here are very welcoming and generally warm-hearted,” Abili said. “I
like it here.”